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Lowell Historical Society 

Organized, December 21, 1868 
Incorporated, May 21, 1902 

Fo/. 1, M. 1 


Tis greatly wise 


hours " — Young. 




F Lowell historical society, Lowell, mass 


. 53 Contributions . 

v.l- (1907-!:- 
Lo\vell,1907- h v.O. 

Preceded by Contributions of the 
J«helfcaho old residents' historical association. 

(F 84445.7) 

364513 NL 28-3559 


\ [l " J 


Volume I. 

Bunker Hill, The Battle of, and Those Who Participated 

Therein from the Towns from which Lowell was 

Formed, Mrs. Sara Swan Griffin 418 

Errata 468 

Executive Committee, Annual Report, 1902-3, Solon W. 

Stevens, President 9 

Executive Committee, Annual Report, 1903-4, Solon W. 

Stevens, President 48 

Executive Committee, Annual Report, 1904-5, Solon \V. 

Stevens, President t 80 

Executive Committee, Annual Report, 1905-6, Solon W. 

Stevens, President 120 

Executive Committee, Annual Report, 1906-7, Solon W. 

Stevens, President 156 

Executive Committee, Annual Report, 1907-8, Solon W. 

Stevens, President 287 

Executive Committee, Annual Report, 1908-9, Solon W. 

Stevens, President 357 

Fiske, Rev. John, Henry S. Perham 91 

Francis, Mrs. Sarah W., Miss Mabel Hill 84 

Index 469 

Introduction 9 

Lincoln, Abraham, Centennial Anniversary of : 365 

Introductory Address, Solon W. Stevens 365 

Recollections of Lincoln in Lowell in 1848, Samuel P. 

Hadley - ....: 368 

Recollections of the Assassination of Lincoln, William 

M. Clarke 375 

Reminiscences of Personal Interviews with Lincoln, 

Moses G. Parker 382 

Lowell High School Historical Essays, 1906 126 

"The Lowell High School, Its History, and the 
History Its Boys and Girls have Made." 

Presentation of Prizes, Alfred P. Sawyer J 126 


First Prize Essay, Alfred M. Caddell [29 

Second Prize Essay, Harold P. Conklin 135 

Lowell High School Historical Essays, 1907 162 

"The Concord River in History and Literature.'' 

Introduction 162 

First Prize Essay, Miss Edith C. Erskine 164 

Second Prize Essay, Miss Annie Louise: Naylor 169 

Lowell High School Historical Essays, 1909 437 

"Lowell the Site for a Beautiful City." 

First Prize Essay, Miss Tessie G. Curry 437 

Second Prize Essay, Miss Geneva AT. Coggins 444 

Manning, Manse, The (Illustrated), Mrs. Louise C. 

Howard 175 

Marisquelles, Col. Marie Louis Amand Ansart De, Mrs. 

Sara Swan Griffin 54 

Memhers, Resident ' 8 

Members, Corresponding 9 

Middlesex County, Ancient and Modern, Levi S. Gould .. 17 
Middlesex Village, Boyhood Reminiscences of (Map), 

I Samuel P. Hadley 180 

Mining Operations near Lowell, Early (Illustrated), 

Alfred P. Sawyer 316 

Officers of the Society in 1907 3 

Old Homes and Historic Byways of Lowell (Illustrated), 

'• Mrs. Sara Swan Griffin 451 

Papers Read Before the Society in 1903 47 

Papers Read Before the Society in 1904 79 

Papers Read Before the Society in 1905 119 

Papers Read Before the Society in 1906 155 

Papers Read Before the Society in 1907 286 

Papers Read Before the Society in 1908 356 

Papers Read Before the Society in 1909 467 

Railroading, Early Days of (Illustrated), Llerbert C. Taft 388 

Snow-Shoe Scouts, The, George Waldo Browne 295 

Varnum, Gen. James M., George B. Cohurn 69 

Webster, Daniel, Samuel P. Hadley : 140 

Witchcraft, A Trial in the Days of, Francis X. Chase 343 


American Railway Train, The First 394 

Boston and Lowell Railroad, ( Map) 400 

Bowers House 452 

Clark Mouse, (Middlesex Tavern) 452 

Dracut Nickel Aline ..'. r ... 332 

First Railway Station in Lowell, Merrimack street 410 

Ford House 452 

Garrison House, Dracnt 452 

Glass House 452 

Historic Houses 452 

Manning Manse 176" 

Memorial Hall Frontispiece 

Middlesex Canal, (Map) ....- - 400 

Middlesex Village, (Map) 1S4 

Old Highway 452 

Old Railroad Track, Section showing Fish Belly Rails 402 

Six Arch Bridge, showing old Stone Sleepers 402 

Spalding House 452 


GDUitttfi dUttzw JFebruatp 13, 1907 

Solon W. Stevens, President 

Samuel P. Hadley, Vice-President 

Horace S. Bacon, Recording Secretary 

Alfred P. Sawyer, Corresponding Secretary 

Albert L. Bacheller, Treasurer 

John A. Bailey, Librarian 

Solon W. Stevens 
Samuel P. Hadley 
Horace S. Bacon 
Alfred P. Sawyer 
Albert L. Bacheller 
John A. Bailey 

Solon W. Stevens 
Horace S. Bacon 

John A. Bailey 

Albert L. Bacheller 
Charles H. Coburn 

Alfred P. Sawyer 

Alfred P. Sawyer 

(Erecutibe Committee 

Greenleaf C. Brock 
Charles H. Coburn 
Charles II . Con ant 
George B. Coburn 
Paul Butler 
J. Adams Bartlett 

§ub Committees 

On Papers and Publications 

Samuel P. Hadley 
Alfred P. Sawyer 

On Library 

Horace S. Bacon 
Greenleaf C. Brock 

On Finance 

J. Adams Bartlett 
Paul Butler 

On Membership 

George B. Coburn 
Charles H. Conant 

On Prize Essays 

Albert L. Bacheller 
Samuel P. Hadley 

On Printing 
Horace S. Bacon 

C. Oliver Barnes 

The following gentlemen have served as members of the Executive 
Committee since the date of the incorporation of the Society, their various 
terms of service having expired -by limitation in accordance with the 

Alexander G. Cumnock 
Term expired, February n, 1903. 

James W. Bennett 
Deceased, April 14, 1903. 

Charles Cowley. 
Term expired, February 10, 1904. 

Charles A. Stott 
Term expired, February 8, 1905. 

Jacob B. Currier 
Term expired, February, 14, 1906. 

Frederick Lawton . 
Term expired, February 13, 1907. 


Re0iO*nt Members 

Abbott, Miss Katherine M. 
Abbott, Mrs. Margaret D. 
Adams, Charles E. 
Allen, Charles H. 
Allen, Thomas 0. 
Ames, Adelbert 
Ayer, Frederick 
Babcock, Henry E. 
Bacheller, Albert L. 
Bacon, Horace S. 
Badger, William E. 
Bailey, John A. 

* Baker, Frederick W. 
Bancroft, Jonathan F. 
Barnes, C. Oliver 
Barnes, Henry W. 

t Baron, Christopher 

* Bartlett, Airs. Harriett M. 
Bartlett, J. Adams 
Bayles, James 

t Bennett, Mrs. Elizabeth F 

* Bennett, James W. 
Blanchard, William D. 
Bovvers, George 
Brigham, Oramel A. 
Brock, Grecnleaf C. 
Brock, Mrs. Harriett F. 
Brown, Harry A. 
Burnham, Albert W. 
Butler, Paul 

* Buttrick, James G. 

* Caldwell, Edwin B. 
Cameron, Donald M. 
Chambre, A. St. John 

* Chandler, George H. 
Chase, Francis N. 
Chase, George A. 
Clark, Frederic S. 
Clifford, Charles T. 
Coburn, Charles H. 

* Deceased 
f Resigned 

Tyngsbo rough 


Coburn, George B. 
Coburn, Walter 
Collins, Michael 
Conant, Charles H. 
Cowley, Charles 
Cumnock, Alexander G. 
Currier, Jacob B. 

* Davis, Miss Abby Frances 
Davis, Mrs. Julia A. 
Davis, Millard F. 

Davis, Natt A. 
Devereaux, Miss Anna W. 

* Dinsmoor, James 
Dows, Azro M. 
Dumas, Levi 

f Eastman, William A. 
Ellingwood, Edward 
t Farnham, Mrs. Satira A. 

* Fellows, James K. 
Fiske, George W. 
Fletcher, Isaac A. 
Floyd, Warren L. 

t Ford, Smith Thomas 

* Francis, Mrs. Sarah W. 

* Fuller, Jason 
Gardner, Miles G. 
Gilson, George M. 

* Gould, Joseph D. 
Gould, Sumner S. 
Gray, Frank 
Greene, John M. 
Greenwood, Macella 
Greenwood, Othello O. 
Griffin, Charles 
Hadley, Samuel P. 
Hall, Mrs. Mary C. 
Hard, C. Fred 
Harrington, Thomas F. 

* Hayes, William H. I. 
Hill, Miss Lucy A. 
Hill, Miss Mabel 
Hill, Nathaniel 
Hills, William F. 
Hood, Charles I. 
Hosmer, Edward S. 

* Deceased 
t Resigned 




Huntoon, George L. 
f Hutchins, George E. 

Hutchinson, Charles C. 

Hylan, Eugene S. 

Johnson, Franklin E. 
f Jackson, William B. 

Lambert, Henry A. 

Langley, Clark M. 

* Lawrence, Samuel 
Lawton, Frederick 
Libbee, George F. 
Livingston, William E. 
Mansur, Mrs. Elizabeth A. 

* Marden, George A. 
Marsh, James R. 
Miller, George W. 
Nichols, Mrs. Almira A. 
Noyes, Miss Adelaide E. 
Noyes, Person 

* Ordway, Henry M. 
Osgood, George C. 
Page, Dudley L. 
Parker, Moses G. 
Parker, Percy 
Parker, Walter L. 
Pearson, Gardner W. 

* Pearson, James M. 

* Perham, Henry S. 
Perkins, M. Gilbert 
Philbrick, Caleb 
Pinder, Albert 
Prescott, D. Moody 
Puffer, Fred A. 
Ranlett, Orrin B. 
Raymond, Samuel E. 
Runels, George 

* Russell, Alonzo L. 
Russell, Asa C. 
Russell, Cyrus W. 

* Russell, James S. 
Safford, Arthur T. 
Sargent, Allan C. 
Sawyer, Alfred P. 
Shattuck, Horace B. 
Shaw, Miss Melinda C. 

* Deceased 
f Resigned 

West ford 


Sheldon, Mrs. Sarah E. S. 

* Shepard, William 

f Sherman, William W. 
Slater, Arthur H. 

* Sprague, Levi 
Stevens, Mrs. Alice N. 
Stevens, Miss Mary G. 
Stevens, Solon W. 
Stott, Charles A. 
Swan, Charles C. 
Talbot, Thomas 
Tarbell, Harvey W. 
Taylor, Samuel L. 
Thompson, Joseph P. 
Tibbetts, Henry L. 

f Tinker, Henry W. 
Tyler, Rinaldo H. 
Varnum, Joseph P. 
Walsh, Alonzo G. 
Ward, William H. 
Waters, Wilson 

* Wetherbee, Miss Sophia P. 
Wheeler, Charles 
Whidden, Clarence W. 

* White, William H. 
Whitney, Hiram 
Wier, Frederick N. 

* Wilder, Henry H. 
Williams, Charles M. 
Wood, Samuel N. 
Woodworth, Artemus B. 


West ford 


CorresponOmg Members 

Caldwf.i.l, Pliny W. 

|''|H,I>IN<;, I I I NKY A. 
CiOKMON, <ih<)l«.l'. A. 

Mown, Mks. Sakah Kicnimll 
Kim ham., John l'\ 

I.AWitiN, Gl.OI«,K I'. 

Tampa, Fla. 

Hu/. in. hi, Moii 

Somervillc, Mass. 

(Irotoii, M.ish. 

Will..,,, N. M 
Ciiiibi i<lr.' ', Mum 

• Prceanrcl 
t Resigned 


The Lowell Historical Society was incorporated under 
the provisions of chapter 125 of the Revised Laws of the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts, May 21, 1902, for the purpose, as 
stated in its articles of association and certificate of incorporation, 
"of collecting and preserving books, manuscripts, records, and 
objects of antiquarian and historical interest; of encouraging the 
study of local history; of maintaining a library; and of publish- 
ing from time to time whatever may illustrate and perpetuate the 
history of Lowell and adjacent towns." 

It is the corporate successor of The Old Residents' His- 
torical Association of Lowell, which was a voluntary association 
organized December 21, 1868, by men who were residents of 

The reason for the change in name and organization are 
fully set forth in the report of the committee on incorporation, 
which, with the by-laws and other proceedings, appear in the 
sixth volume of the Contributions of The Old Residents' Histori- 
cal Association of Lowell, pages 446 to 470. 

The Lowell Historical Society has decided to retain the 
old association's title for its publications, and the volumes of the 
new series will be entitled Contributions of the Lowell Historical 

ILotoell ©fatorical ©ocietp 

Annual Report of the Executive Committee for 1902-03. 
Prepared and read by Solon W. Stevens, President, 
February ii, 1903. 

The attention of the officers and members of the Lowell 
Historical Society is hereby most respectfully invited to the first 
annual report of its Executive Committee. 

In the first place it may be proper to state that in accord- 
ance with Section 2 of Article 14 of the By-Laws the following 
committees have been appointed, viz ; the finance committee, the 
library committee and the committee on membership.' In addition 
to these the following committees have also been appointed, viz ; 
on printing and publication of papers, on rules for the transac- 
tion of business, and a committee appointed with a view to en- 
larging the list of corresponding members. These various com- 
mittees have their several subjects in charge but the time has not 
yet arrived for their complete reports. 

There is reason for congratulation in that this society has 
become established under auspicious circumstances, and that it is 
now recognized as a corporate body "formed for the purpose of 
collecting and preserving books, manuscripts, records and objects 
of antiquarian and historical interest ; of encouraging the study 
of local history; of maintaining a library; and of publishing from 
time to time whatever may illustrate and perpetuate the history 
of Lowell and adjacent towns." 

We have now about one hundred and fifty names upon our 
roll of membership. The property of whatsoever name and des- 
cription heretofore belonging to The Old Residents' Historical 
Association of Lowell has been transferred and assigned in a legal 
manner to the Lowell Historical Society so that this organization 
is hereafter to be known not as a substitute merely for the former 


one, but as its successor, endowed with larger powers, a wirier 
jurisdiction and more ample facilities under a corporate form of 

The reasons for this change, or rather the causes which 
seemed necessary for this provision for greater usefulness have 
already been fully presented to public attention, and need not be 
repeated here. The main conditions necessary for future success 
rest in a hearty co-operation and an enthusiasm among our mem- 
bers in the peculiar work which is given us to accomplish. 

A genuine authentic history of a country consists of some- 
thing more tlfan a series of "glittering generalities" relating to 
public events. It should present as far as practicable special 
narratives, reliable traditions, and truthful delineations of the 
spirit and capabilities of the people whose lives have contributed 
to the establishment of the various industries and institutions 
which belong to, and are characteristic of, the different towns and 
cities which make up the distinctive features of a country and 
which in the aggregate compose its constituency. Hence ac- 
curate general history is largely a transcript of accurate local 
history, and accurate local history can only be obtained by a pre- 
servation of the records of local events, and the distinctive fea- 
tures of different localities. To this end the work of this society 
should largely be directed, for there is much remaining in the 
realm of unwritten history relative to Lowell and its surrounding 
towns which ought to be carefully recorded and preserved since 
the field for such research covers an important part of one of the 
most historic counties in this Commonwealth. 

The following obituary sketches of six of our members, 
who have recently passed away, are herewith submitted. 

Mr. Levi Sprague died on August 28th, 1902, at his 

home on Mansur Street at the age of ninety-one years, 

eleven months and twelve days. Lie was born in Bil- 

lerica. His first employment in Lowell was with the 

ANNUAL REPORT, I902-I903 13 

firm of Mansur & Reed, grocers, in 1827. Shortly after- 

ward he worked for a little while in the mills of Mr. Thomas 
Hurd, a woolen manufacturer. Under the guidance of Mr. Sam- 
uel Willard he learned the trade of brick mason. During 1837 
and 1838 as a builder and contractor he built a large hotel in 
Quincy, Illinois, and the first brick block in the city of Burlington, 
Iowa. In 1841 he formed a partnership with Mr. Caleb Crosby, 
contractor, which was dissolved in 1846. Some of the most im- 
portant contracts which Mr. Sprague completed were the original 
mills of the Lawrence corporation in this city, the Savings Bank 
at the corner of Middle and Shattuck Streets, one of the Prescott 
Alills, the first brick block and the second mill in Lawrence, Mass. 
From 1848 to 1852 inclusive he was elected and served as a select- 
man of the town of Lawrence. He afterward became principal or- 
ganizer of the Pemberton Bank, and was finally chosen president 
of said bank, which position he held for thirty-eight years. He 
returned to Lowell in 1858, became identified with the Traders 
& Mechanics Insurance Company of this city, and in 1874 was 
elected its president, which position he held at the time of his 
decease. During his business career he had become identified 
with the Lowell Gas Light Company, the Lowell Water Commis- 
sion, the Erie Telegraph & Telephone Company, and the Lowell 
General Hospital. He was a zealous member of the Old Resi- 
dents' Association, and had signified his intention of transferring 
his membership to the Lowell Historical Society. Mr. Sprague 
was a most genial, affable gentleman, honored by a large circle 
of acquaintances and friends, and in the business world was most 
highly esteemed for his reliability and his strict integrity. 

Mr. Joseph Swan died at his home on Andover Street, 
September 17, 1902, at the age of seventy-one years. He was for 
many years an overseer in the Massachusetts Mills, from which 
position he retired about fifteen years ago. He was a native of 
Dracut, Mass. His circle of acquaintances was not so large as 
that of some whose names may be mentioned, but by those who 


enjoyed his friendship and could testify to his many excellent 
qualities, he was greatly esteemed. 

Mr. Franklin Coburn died at his home, 757 Merrimack 
Street, at the age of eighty-five years on the 9th of November, 
1902. By his decease Lowell has lost an honored and respected 
citizen. He was born in the old Coburn residence on Chelmsford 
Street, which was then a part of Chelmsford, April 3rd, 18 17. 

The earliest portion of his business life was passed in the 
grocery business at the corner of Market and Central Streets, 
where Tyler Block now stands. He afterward entered the em- 
ploy of the well known firm of C. B. Coburn & Co., as clerk and 
salesman. Here in this prosperous business house, of which the 
late Mr. Charles B. Coburn, his elder brother, was the head, he re- 
mained for more than forty years, proving himself to be a valuable 
accessory in the successful career of this long established firm. 
He was of a retiring disposition, and never cared for public office. 
Yet he was a man of intelligent views relative to public affairs, 
and in all his intercourse with men he commanded universal res- 
pect and esteem for his personal worth. He retired from active 
business life a few years ago. By his death Lowell has lost one 
of its oldest residents and one of its reliable and most highly 
respected citizens. 

Mr. George Hermon Chandler died at his residence, 61 Burtt 
Street, on December 22nd, 1902, at the age of seventy-seven years 
and ten months. He was born in Concord, New Hampshire, Feb- 
ruary 6th, 1825. When he was seven years of age his parents set- 
tled in Lowell. During a portion of his young manhood he was 
employed in the machine shop and cotton mills of the Bay State 
Mills in Lawrence and the Androscoggin Mills of Lewiston. 
Maine. In 1866 he accepted the position of superintendent of 
the cotton department of the Merrimack Manufacturing Company 
of this city, which position he held for more than fifteen years. 
In 1881 he became the agent of the cotton c|epartment of the 
Millville Manufacturing Company of New Jersey. He returned 

ANNUAL REPORT, I902-I903 15 

to New England in 1884 to accept a similar position with the 
Hamilton Woolen Company at Amesbury, Mass., which position, 
after three years' service, he resigned and returned to reside in 
Lowell where he died. He was a member of long standing of 
the Old Residents' Historical Association, and had also become a 
member of the Lowell Historical Society. He was quiet and 
unostentatious in demeanor, of strict integrity, faithful and suc- 
cessful in his vocation, honored by his business associates, and in 
his departure he leaves the record of an upright, conscientious 

Mr. Otis Allen, one of the oldest and most highly respected 
citizens of Lowell, died at his home, 945 Middlesex Street on Jan- 
uary 4th, 1903, at the age ninety-five years. Mr. Allen was born 
in Newton, September 12th, 1808. He came to Lowell about 
1826, and was employed as a carpenter and builder until the Au- 
gust of 183 1, when he formed a partnership with Mr. Owen 
Nichols and Mr. Samuel Horn, doing business as soap and candle 
makers under the firm name and style of Nichols, Horn & Co. 
In the following October Mr. Nichols sold out his interest to Mr. 
Home, and the firm name was changed to Horn & Allen. In 
January, 1850, Mr. Allen entered into partnership with Mr. Wil- 
liam Livingston in the lumber business, which continued until the 
death of Mr. Livingston in 1855, when he purchased his partner's 
interest in this business and continued the same successfully until 
1865. In 1874 he commenced an extensive business of making 
boxes with his son, the Hon. Charles H. Allen, under the well 
known firm name of Otis Allen & Son. Mr. Allen was a mem- 
ber of the city council in 1842 and 1843, a member of the board 
of aldermen one year and a representative to the State legislature 
in 1843. He was a man of strong individuality, of unblemished 
character and was the recipient of the esteem and confidence of 
the community as a business man and as a citizen. He was a 
widower, having buried his wife some seven or eight years ago. 
He leaves two sons prominent in local and national afifairs, 
Thomas O. Allen, Esq., and the Hon. Charles H. Allen. 


Mr. James S. Russell died January 14, 1903, at his residence 
on Nesmith Street, at the advanced age of ninety-six years. He 
came to Lowell as a teacher of mathematics in the High School 
in the spring of 1835, just after graduation at Brown University, 
Providence, R. I. He resigned this position in 1839 to accept 
the principalship of the High School in Worcester. He remained 
here however only about 6 months, and after a short experience 
as teacher in the State Normal School at Barre he returned to 
his former position in the Lowell High School, where he re- 
mained until 1879, making with the exception of about one year a 
period of forty-four years of continuous service in that institution. 
Mr. Russell was one of the oldest and most widely known of our 
citizens. His long experience as an instructor in his favorite study 
made his name familiar in nearly every household in the city dur- 
ing his period of service. He was a man of marked individuality, 
generous impulse, quick perceptive power, remarkable vitality, 
and strong, active mental faculties. The favorite study of mathe- 
matics of his manhood's prime became his solace and recreation 
in his declining years. He was a prominent member of St. Anne's 
church. He will long be remembered by Lowell people as a 
faithful and enthusiastic teacher, a man of unimpeachable charac- 
ter, and an honorable, highly esteemed citizen. 

Thus are we again reminded how rapidly the Angel of 
Death is breaking the ties of friendship and esteem. We know 
not what a day may bring forth. It only remains for us to act 
faithfully and live hopefully, to the end that when the summons 
shall call us away we may each leave behind the record of con- 
scientious service performed with a realizing sense of the ever 
watchful presence of Him "who doeth all things well." 


Middlesex County, Ancient and Modern: With Brief Bio- 
graphical Sketches of the Men who have served as 
County Commissioners from Lowell and adjacent 

By Hon. Levi S. Gould, of Melrose, Chairman of the County 
Commissioners. Read February 27, 1903.* 

Impressed upon the broad seal of the County of Middlesex 
is the following legend: Incorporated A. D. 1630. Mow or 
when this historical inaccuracy occurred it is impossible to ascer- 
tain. The records show that Middlesex-shire, Essex-shire, Suf- 
folk-shire and Norfolk-shire were legally incorporated May 10th, 
1643, the latter county not being the present Norfolk, but a county 
including the towns of Salisbury and Haverhill in Massachusetts, 
and Hampton, Exeter, Dover and Strawberry Hank, now Ports- 
mouth, in the province of New Hampshire. It is very likely, 
however, that the date of 1630 is intended to conform to the ar- 
rival of John Winthrop who brought the new charter fixing the 
limits of what many are pleased to term as the original territory 
of Middlesex County, being from three miles south of the Charles 
river to three miles north of the Merrimack; with a limitless 
boundary westward to the sea, in other words stretching for an 
equal width, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ! As it exists today, 
what an empire has been developed within those original lines, 
rivalling the wealth of the Indies ! That Charter covered the 
present locations of Troy, Albany, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Detroit, 
Kalamazoo, Chicago, Dubuque, Sioux City, Fort Laramie and 
many other important cities ; it would take a strip out of the 
states of New York, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyo- 
ming, Idaho and Oregon ; it would graze the border lines of Utah, 
Nevada and California and through a claim to most of the waters 
of Lakes Erie and Saint Clair had the power to control the 
mighty commerce of the Great Lakes ! 

* The above article which was originally prepared for the Lowell 
Historical Society, has since been published in more complete form by the 
County under the title " Ancient Middlesex." See Acts apd Resolves of 
Mass. 1904, Chapter 238. 


It was in 1614, six years before the landing of the pil- 
grims, that Captain John Smith on a voyage of discovery sailed 
into "the opening betwixt Cape Cod and Cape Ann," now Boston 
Harbor, but at that time known only by the Indian names of 
"Shawmut and Mishawum," the latter referring to the present 
location of Charlestown. On Smith's return to England, he 
described the country in glowing terms to the Prince of Wales, 
later on the ill fated monarch Charles First, who gave the name 
of "Charles" river to its principal stream. In 1622, a Royal 
Patent which included Mishawum and Shawmut was issued to 
Robert Georges, but it is not apparent that any settlements under 
it were effected north of the Charles in the territory later known 
as Middlesex County. 

The Charter of the corporation known as '"The Governor 
and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England" under 
the provisions of which it became possible to settle the territory 
known as Middlesex County, was originally granted to John 
Endecot and others in the month of March 1628, subsequently its 
powers were enlarged and others granted shares therein, among 
them being John Winthrop who came over as Chief Governor in 
the "Arbela" arriving in Salem June 12th, 1630; Endicott's posi- 
tion being that of local Governor. The officers sanctioned by the 
charter were a "Governor, Deputy Governor, eighteen Assist- 
ants," (a Treasurer, Secretary of the General Court, Major Gen- 
eral, Admiral at Sea and Commissioners of the United Colonies) 
to be chosen by the Freemen at a General Court to be hoklen on 
the last Wednesday in Easter. The Freemen (or legal voters) 
were only such as were members in good standing of a church, 
so that heretics or irreligious persons were absolutely excluded 
from all participation in any affairs of government. The territory 
conveyed in the words of the Charter was : "That part of New 
England between Merrimack river and Charles river in the bot- 
tom of Massachusetts Bay and Three miles to the south of every 
part of Charles river and of the southernmost part of said bay and 


Three miles to the North of every part of said Merrimack river 
and in length within the breadth aforesaid from the Atlantic ocean 
to the South sea" etc. The first "Court of Assistants'" was hol- 
den on board the Governor's ship "Arbela" in Charlestown Har- 
bor, August 23d, 1630, and the first General Court was convened 
at Boston, October 19th of the same year. The General Court 
was to consist of the "Governor, the Assistants and all the Free- 
men of the Colony" and was to assemble "four times a year," 
when necessary, officers were chosen and laws and ordinances 
enacted. Besides "ordering and dispatching such business as 
should from time to time happen touching said company or plan- 
tation," the General Court was charged with "settling the forms 
and ceremonies of government and magistracy :" the "imposition 
of lawful fines, mulcts, imprisonment or other lawful correction" 
etc., partaking of a Judicial character. As may be seen this char- 
ter contains all the essential elements of pure democracy, and it 
was granted by Charles 1st, that ill fated Monarch who lost his 
head to the Puritanical sentiment of the mother country, which 
proclaimed him as a "tyrant, a murderer, and a traitor to his 
country ;" nevertheless, to use his own words, this charter was 
granted "so that the inhabitants may be so religiously, peaceably 
and civilly governed as their good life and orderly conversation 
may win, and invite the natives of the country to the knowledge 
and obedience of the only true God and Savior of mankind." As 
the General Court was composed of all the Freemen in the colony, 
and the officers were annually elected by "show of hands," it was 
to all intents and purposes a town meeting presided over by the 
Governor. In the course of time the inevitable happened (just 
as it has in later days by the transition of towns into cities) as 
the population had increased by immigration and plantations had 
pushed out into the wilderness to such a distance from the com- 
mon meeting place, that it finally became not only inconvenient, 
but at times positively dangerous to attend the stated conclave of 
the court. In this dilemma, constantly increasing, the Freemen 


got together in their scattered communities and chose delegates 
from among themselves, clothing them with the power to do all 
things which they themselves might do if personally present, ex- 
cept the right to elect "The Governor, Deputy Governor, Assist- 
ants, Treasurer, Secretary of the General Court, Major General, 
Admiral at Sea and Commissioners of the United Colonies," 
which right, except in the matter of obsolete officials, has been 
handed down to the present generation. The first meeting of 
Delegates assembled in General Court on the 14th day of May, 
1634, and they represented the towns of Newtown (now Cam- 
bridge) Watertown, Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester 
and Saugus which included Lynn and Salem apparently. As 
Virginia is accredited with the adoption of a similar method in 
1620, it seems to be certain that the above was the second body, 
composed of a direct and equal representation of all the people, 
which ever assembled for the purposes of legislation. During 
a period of two hundred and sixty-nine years, through the en- 
tanglement of all forms of political intrigues and alliances, with 
the mutability of religious and social problems to contend with, 
the basic principle of equal representation embodied in that gath- 
ering has never been abandoned, neither have the people seriously 
considered such a proposition. In all the preliminaries attending 
the establishing of a permanent form of government by Gov, John 
John Winthrop, the arena was principally in Middlesex County, 
and the actors therein were largely her citizens. 

The actual settlement of Charlestown, which formed the 
nucleus of Middlesex County, must be ascribed to Ralph, Richard 
and William Sprague, three young gentlemen of wealth and re- 
finement who left "old England" as sailing companions of John 
Endicott, the intrepid, on his memorable voyage to Salem in 1628. 
By permission of Endicott, these three brothers started out on 
foot and penetrated the wilderness. They came to the junction 
of two rivers where they found an indian fishing village called 
Mishawum, now Charlestown, and it was they who, by consent 


of the aboriginies, established at this point what may be justly 
assumed to be the original settlement of Middlesex County, in 
1628-1629. Of the heroic band who followed them there, more 
than one hundred succumbed to the privations of the winter of 
1029, and the remainder, siek and discouraged, must have per- 
ished except for the timely arrival of Gov. John VVinthrop in 
1630. During- that year, seventeen ships arrived, bringing fifteen 
hundred people, but they in turn were so illy prepared to with- 
stand the rigors of the New England climate through lack of 
food, medicines and shelter that more than two hundred died 
before winter had really set in, and many others thereafter. 

The hardships and privations which fell to the lot of the 
colonists were of the severest character. Gentle women, accus- 
tomed to the comforts of an English home, came with their hus- 
bands and were obliged to endure the rigors of the seasons in 
hastily constructed log houses, "the interstices of which were 
rudely filled with mud or clay," utterly inadequate to afford pro- 
tection from the biting blasts of winter, and but scantily furnished 
with the commonest necessities of domestic life. Surrounded by 
dreary wastes of fen and marsh, with dense forests stretching 
into the interior far beyond the knowledge of man, inhabited by 
hostile indians, with myriads of hungry wolves, and other savage 
beasts prowling about, they must have lived in constant dread and 
peril ; but this was not all ; famine stared them in the face as 
their crops were almost a failure during the first two years, and 
they were obliged to subsist principally on shell-fish, muscles, 
clams, lobsters and the like for meat, and on ground-nuts and 
acorns as substitutes for bread. Little wonder then that the 
ranks of this devoted band faded away through fever and the 
many climatic ills which afflict us to this day, even in the posses- 
sion of all the comforts of the civilization of the twentieth century. 
One witness and participator in their sufferings wrote ; — "Almost 
in every family, lamentation, mourning and woe were heard and 
no fresh food to cherish them." Another witness said ; — "Many 


* died weekly, yea almost daily." Amid all these trials and tribu- 
lations their heroic spirits were not broken, but only cast down, 
and they looked forward with abiding faith in the God of their 
salvation, for that Heavenly benediction which finally came as the 
harvest of their suffering's. The heroic struggles of these devoted 
pioneers were reflected a century and a half later upon the his- 
toric fields of ancient Aliddlesex where their descendants, fired 
by the same self-sacrificing spirit of loyalty to God and their 
hearthstones, completed the fabric of political and religious free- 
dom which their forefathers under the special sanction of the 
King of England had unwittingly founded in 1629 and 1630. 

Among other things of interest in connection with the 
court records of Ancient Middlesex it is recorded in 1640 that 
Charlestown possessed "a Water-Mill near Spot Pond." 

The County Court held in "Charles-Towne," June 9, 1656, 
Mr. Bellingham, Deputy Governor and Captain David Gookin, 
Majors Willard and Appleton sitting as Assistants, entered up 
the following judgment in the first divorce proceedings com- 
menced in the courts of Middlesex: 

"Wm. Clemence craving a divorce from his wife; do judge it 
not meet to grant them a divorce at present but do order that they 
both owne each other according to their marriage covenant, and 
that upon complaint made such party as shall be found faulty in 
refusing so to do shall be severally punished." 

December 27, 1659 the court fixed the County Recorder's 
salary at £6,, 13,, 4d. for the year! 

April 2, 1 661 the Keeper of the County Prison was al- 
lowed £5 per annum ! 

April 3, 1660, "In presence of the court" one Thomas 
Browneing a Burglar was branded in the forehead with a letter B. 

June, 1657, the Court passed an order directing the "com- 
mittee on erection of Misticke Bridge" to "impress any carpen- 
ters or sawyers for a fortnights labor or less." This must have 
been identical in location with the bridge now existing at Med- 


ford square over which the travel of northeastern Middlesex and 
most of Essex and the province of Maine passed in colonial times. 
Middlesex County, since the days of the Spragues, of VVin- 
throp, and other pioneers of the Western wilderness, has become 
a mighty power in this Commonwealth. The dawn of the twen- 
tieth century casts its refulgent splendor upon more than five 
hundred and sixty-five thousand souls, scattered over an area of 
eight hundred square miles within its forty-three towns and eleven 
cities ; a population nearly equalling that of the County of Suffolk, 
its only rival within this Commonwealth ; greater than that of 
any city save New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Saint Louis, 
and outstripping the recent census of twenty-two of the States 
and territories of our Union! The waters of its four principal 
rivers; the Charles, Concord, Nashua and Merrimack, from their 
sources to the sea, drive more spindles than all others in America, 
and it may be than those of any four rivers in the world. Her 
first court house was burned in Cambridge in 1671. History 
gives no intimation as to the erection of this building, but as early 
as March 3d, 1635, Cambridge was designated as one of the four 
towns in Massachusetts colony where courts should be held : Ips- 
wich, Salem, and Boston being the others. Concord was a Shire 
town from 1692 until 1867, a period of one hundred and seventy- 
five years, and Lowell has been thus honored since 1836. During 
a brief period the courts were also held in Groton. Her popula- 
tion is increasing with greater rapidity than any other county, 
two of her municipalities, Everett and Melrose (now a city), 
showing the largest gains in the Commonwealth by the last state 
census, and she has within her borders one third of all the cities 
of the Commonwealth. 

All the glamour and all the weird and fancied charms of 
the dim and distant past are with us as we speculate upon the 
profound mysteries locked up within the relics of that amphithe- 
atre on the banks of the Charles where the hardy Norsemen are 
said to have builded a city and worshipped their Deities almost a 



thousand years ago; or as we conjure up the illustrious names and 
the glorious records of those pioneers of American civilization 
who with their descendants in many generations have adorned 
the bench, pleaded at the bar, or left the stamp of character upon 
the institutions of this grand old county of ours: Thomas Dudley, 
Simon Bradstreet, Peter Bulkely, Increase Nowell, Simon YVil- 
lard of the long ago, and Edward Everett, Ralph Waldo Emer- 
son, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry D. Thoreau, James Russell 
Lowell, Henry W. Longfellow, all natives or residents of Middle- 
sex County with scores of others living and dead, whose brilliant 
thoughts in later years have enriched the literature and ennobled 
the art of the Anglo Saxon race. 

A brief review of the life work of a few of the citizens of 
Middlesex who have been foremost in public service, or in the 
development of science, literature and art, is pleasant and profit- 

Of Rev. John Llarvard whose name is as common as a 
household word yet of whom little is known save that he was born 
near London, educated at Cambridge and became a Puritan min- 
ister, but does not appear to have had a settlement, lie was pos- 
sessed of a modest inheritance and came to this country accom- 
panied by his wife in 1637. He was a young man of not more 
than twenty-eight or thirty years, and in delicate health. Shortly 
after his arrival, he united with the First Church in Charlestown 
and died of consumption the following year, September 14th, 
1638, leaving one half his wordly estate viz: £779, and a library 
of three hundred volumes to a school which the General Court 
had previously agreed to establish and endow with the sum of 
£400. This "school or college" was ordered by the Court on 
November 15th, 1637, to be established at Newtown. With the 
money, of which it is doubtful if the college received more than 
one half, and the library thus donated, buildings were erected and 
furnished, and a career initiated which, in the Providence of Al- 
mighty God, has advanced this humble "school o'r college" to the 


~' r 

front rank of educational institutions in America. In grateful 
remembrance of its benefactor, the name of "Harvard" was at- 
tached to the infant institution and that of "Cambridge" to the 

little hamlet of Newtown in token of the famous English univer- 
sity from which he graduated. In the Phipps Street burial ground 
at Charlestown, an interesting relic of Colonial days, the curious 
may view a modest monument, upon which is inscribed the name 
of this foremost American benefactor of science, literature, and 
the arts. Many have, and others may excel the sum of his dowry, 
but none can ever approach the might}' influence which has re- 
sulted from that timely, though humble contribution to the 
majesty of education and the dignity of human attainments. 

Of Loammi Baldwin, third in descent from Henry Baldwin, 
a subscriber to the "Town Orders" for Woburn in 1640. Me was 
born in North Woburn, January 10, 1744. From an enlisted 
man in 1775, he was rapidly promoted to the Colonelcy of the 
26th Massachusetts Regiment, in the command of which he par- 
ticipated in the re-crossing of the Delaware and in the Battle of 
Trenton, lie was in 1780 the first Sheriff of Middlesex County 
after the adoption of the constitution, and it was while he held 
this office that his duties called him to an obscure section of the 
little town of Wilmington, where his attention was attracted by 
an extraordinary gathering of woodpeckers upon an apple tree 
which stood by itself in an open field. On investigation, he dis- 
covered that the fruit of the tree was of an excellent but unknown 
variety. Gathering scions he not only grafted them upon his 
own trees, but scattered them broad-cast throughout the County 
of Middlesex. In this way was brought to public notice the 
"Baldwin" apple, unsurpassed in hardihood and productiveness, 
which has added millions to the farmers' revenue throughout the 
north, and after the expiration of a century of cultivation stands 
without a peer as a winter fruit. The original tree was destroyed 
by a severe gale in 18 15. It was a chance production without 
the intervention of man, and may be claimed as indigenous to the 


soil of ancient Middlesex and a veritable boon to the science of 

Colonel Baldwin is also noted as a promoter and one of the 
principal constructors of the famous Middlesex canal (the first 
in America) which connected the Merrimack with the Charles. 
It was commenced in 1794, and completed in 1803. 

He was the friend, companion and schoolmate of Benja- 
min Thompson, Count of Rumford; and was honored with a de- 
gree by Harvard. The Baldwin ancestral mansion is now stand- 
ing, and is pronounced one of the finest examples of colonial 
architecture in New England. Colonel Baldwin was the father 
of Loammi Baldwin, Jr., a graduate of Harvard, class of 1800, 
in which was Washington Allston, the artist (a bosom friend) 
and Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw. He essayed the profession of 
Law, but while studying with Hon. Timothy Bigelow at Groton, 
was confronted with a new light which changed his whole course 
in life and gave to his country the services of one who has been 
proclaimed by competent authority as the ''Father of Civil Engi- 
neering in America." The incident at Groton was as follows : 
A disastrous fire having occurred in the village which might have 
been prevented by suitable fire appliances, the young student went 
to work and constructed with his own hands in 1802 a fire engine, 
which Dr. Samuel A. Green the eminent historian of Groton as- 
sures us was in perfect working order and could throw a stream 
over any building in town eighty-seven years after its construc- 
tion, and it is in active commission today after the expiration of 
one hundred and one years of service. 

Relinquishing the study of law he devoted himself to 
mechanics and engineering. Two noted memorials to his skill in 
construction have stood the test of time, viz : the dry docks at the 
Navy Yards in Charlestown and Norfolk, both of which are un- 
excelled to this day. When consulted regarding the former, he 
was in doubt and said to the Secretary of the Treasury.. "What 
if I should fail?" "Then we will hang you" wa's the laconic 


With Prof. George Ticknor, Dr. Jacob Bigelow, Samuel 
Swett and Washington Allston, he served upon a committee of 
which he was chairman, and reported to the monument associa- 
tion on July 1, 1825, a specific plan for the building of an obelisk 
on Bunker Hill, which plan was adopted and the shaft erected. 
He was Treasurer of the town of Cambridge in 1816, Councillor 
in 1835, and Presidential Elector in 1836, casting his vote for 
Daniel Webster. He died in Charlestown, June 30, 1838, aged 

Elias Howe, who established his claim as inventor of the 
sewing machine, worked at one time in Lowell, and in company 
with an inventive genius named Wackenfeldt, who was employed 
by the Merrimack corporation, perfected some of the important 
features of his machine out of which he finally received in royal- 
ties not less than two million dollars while his former assistant 
remained and died in humble circumstances. 

Charles Goodyear, noted the world over as a pioneer in 
the modern process of treating india rubber, lived in Woburn 
while experimenting with the vulcanizing compound. Meeting 
with repeated failure he became so poor that he had no money 
which which to decently bury a dead child, the corpse being 
carted to the grave in a job-wagon. Both he and his family 
would have starved had not a kind hearted neighbor relieved his 
urgent necessities with a loan of $3.00, when all others denounced 
and passed him by as a vain and delusive dreamer. His experi- 
ments were conducted in the old silk mill at East Woburn and 
success finally came as the result of an accidental placing of a 
lump of his composition upon a hot stove by which it was vul- 
canized, thus revealing the proper treatment. 

Alvan Clark as early as 1826 was working ten hours a day 
for $9.00 a week as an engraver in a mill at East Chelmsford, 
now Lowell. His marriage, from which a son was born in Low- 
ell, was the first one recorded in that town. After concluding 
his contract, he painted portraits and miniatures until 1844, when 



in company with his son who had obtained sonic experience at 
Andover, he commenced the manufacture of telescopes in Cam- 
bridge where they produced some of the most famous and power- 
ful astronomical instruments of their day rivalling the work of 
lense grinders in all ages. 

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, late of London, the super- 
eminent artist, was a son of Middlesex, born in Lowell in 1834. 
and christened in "Old Saint Amies" church, as recorded on it- 
baptismal register, November 9, 1834. His father was Major 
George Washington Whistler, a graduate of West Point, who 
resigned from the service, and went to Lowell in 1834, entering 
into the employ of the Locks and Canals Company as chief engi- 
neer in charge of their extensive works for the construction of 
locomotives and machinery for railroads and mills. While there 
he constructed for the Boston & Lowell railroad several engines 
fashioned after the one they had imported from London, which 
was built by Robert Stephenson, the first man in the world to 
successfully demonstrate the use of locomotives. Mr. Whistler 
was afterwards employed in various sections of the United States 
in great public and private enterprises, among them being. the 
Western railroad from Springfield to Albany. In 1842 he was 
called to Russia by the Czar to build, as engineer in charge, the 
first railroad of importance in that empire. It connected St. 
Petersburg with Moscow. In the former city he was attacked 
with cholera during a severe epidemic, from the effects of which 
he never fully recovered. lie died April 9, 1849, sincerely la- 
mented, having successfully performed the great work with 
which he had been intrusted. His remains were sent to America 
and first buried in Boston, but finally removed to Stonington, 
Connecticut. Lie was one of the most distinguished engineers 
which this country has ever produced. His son, James Abbott 
McNeill, was also educated at West Point, or, at least, spent three 
years there, having been discharged June 16, 1854, "for deficiency 
in chemistry," but standing at the head of his class in drawing. 


Me drifted finally to Paris, following his artistic tastes, where he 
studied for a time under an eminent teacher, and was well known 
in the Latin quarter. In 1863, at the age of twenty-nine, he set- 
tled in London, remaining there during the balance of his career, 
devoting with tireless energy his remarkable talents in the devel- 
opment of original and striking conceptions in the realm of art. 
The products of his brush have been scattered far and wide, pro- 
voking interesting discussion among skilful and critical connois- 
seurs in many lands, while his etchings, if we are to accept the 
extravagant tributes of enthusiastic admirers, are unsurpassed 
even by the great masters. In his chosen profession he was un- 
doubtedly a genius of magnitude, and it is possible that history 
may crown him as first of his period. It is a matter of historic 
interest to know that Major John Whistler, the grandfather of 
this erratic genius, was an Englishman who came to America in 
the British army, serving under Lurgoyne at Saratoga, where he 
was captured. After being honorably discharged in England, he 
returned to America and settled for a time in Maryland. He 
afterwards enlisted in the army of the United States, and was 
severely wounded in an engagement with the Indians. He was 
promoted to captain and finally became a major by brevet. He 
died in the service of his adopted country, with a record of able 
and faithful duty courageously performed. 

Lowell, April 18, 1904. 

My Dear Sir: I am not able to give you the date of the birth of Mr. 
Whistler; but he was baptized in St. Anne's Church on November 9, 1834 
(being the son of George Washington and Anna Matilda), by the late 
Rev. Dr. Edson, then the rector. 

I think Mrs. J. B. Francis, 68 Mansur street, Lowell, can give you 
the birth date. My parish register does not. 

Very truly yours, 

A. St. John Chambre. Rector. 
Mr. Levi S. Gould, Melrose. 



Lowell, April 20, 1904. 

Mr. Gould :— 

Dear Sir: Your letter is just received, asking of James Whistler. 
Mr. Whistler came to Lowell in 1834, and Mr. Francis, my husband, 
came with him then. 1 do not know of the birthday of James Whistler, 
but he was horn on Worthen Street, about the fifteenth of July, after the 
family came to Lowell. This is the best I can do for you. 

Yours sincerely, 

S. W. Francis 

The "Whistler" house was the home of Mrs. Francis for twenty-five 


Mr. Levi S. Gould, 280 Main street, Melrose, Mass. : — 

May 16, 1904. 
My Dear Sir: In reply to your letter of the thirteenth inst. inquiring 
about the date and place of birth of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, I 
beg to say that the records of the Military Academy show that he en- 
tered here on July 1, 1851, under the name of James A. (Abbott) Whist- 
ler: aged at that time, sixteen years and eleven months. He was ap- 
pointed at large, and his place of residence was in Pomfret, Windham 
county, Connecticut. At the end of his second year's course, in 1853, be 
was absent with leave, on account of ill health. On June J 6, 1854, be was 
discharged from the academy for deficiency in chemistry. At that time 
he stood at the head of his class in drawing and No. 39 in philosophy, the 
total number in the class being forty-two. He recorded his place of 

birth as Massachusetts. Very respectfully, 

F. W. Coe, 
Captain, Artillery Carps, Adjutant. 

The foregoing correspondence should settle the debated question as 
to the native place of the artist. 

As we consider the greatness and power of the Middlesex 
of today, may we never fail to do homage to the memory of those 
brave men and heroic women who came across the stormy seas 
and commenced that first settlement at the junction of the Charles 
and Mystic, and who finally, through their descendants, wrested 
a howling wilderness from wild beasts and savage foes, and plant- 
ing the church and schoolhouse side by side, reared a yeomanry 
so imbued with Christian courage, and so seasoned with unselfish, 
intelligent patriotism, as to make the glorious record of Lexing- 
ton, Concord and Bunker Hill, but natural incidents leading up 


to the surrender of Yorktown, and the independence of this repub- 
lic. Hastily summoned by the warning voice of that peerless 
horseman in the cause of liberty, Paul Revere, men of Middlesex- 
shed the first blood of the Revolution, offering their lives as wil- 
ling sacrifices upon the altar of their country; an act destined in 
the Providence of Almighty God, to awake earth's slumbering 
millions and shake the firmament with their battle cries of 

''By the rude bridge which arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here first the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the world." 

Foremost in the fierce and relentless wars of the Colonial 
period ; first in the opening scenes of the Revolution ; first on the 
field with her gallant Sixth at the dawn of the great Rebellion; 
equipped again and sleeping on their arms, they were ready for 
the first signal of the Spanish war; there her record stands in the 
teeming history of the past, pre-eminent in defence of the liberties 
of man and in all the duties of citizenship, as well as in commerce, 
in manufactures and in all the higher avenues of peace. Within 
her borders are the classic shades of Harvard, and the philoso- 
pher's retreat at Concord. Along her northern boundaries, skirt- 
ing the limits of the granite hills of New Hampshire, her farm- 
houses nestle under the shadows of grand, silent and majestic 
Monadnock, while her eastern shores are gently bathed by the 
tides of the sea or lashed into foam by the billows of the Atlantic. 
On the banks of the Mystic within the present confines of Somer- 
ville, and near the mansion of Gov. John Winthrop, was con- 
structed and given to the waters of Massachusetts Bay, the 
second vessel launched in America, the first having been 
built in Topham in 1607, and it was her forest resounding to 
the axe of the sturdy yeoman, which yielded the gnarled and 
twisted oak, hewn and fashioned in her shipyards, into a thou- 
sand sail, which in the arts of peace have parted the waves of 


every sea under the sun, and in the smoke of conflict have car- 
ried the stars and stripes to glorious victory, or to honorable 
defeat. It .is the priceless record of this peerless count)', that in 
every crisis of the nation's history, men of .Middlesex have sprung 
to arms and freely shed their blood to defend that legacy of 
liberty bequeathed by those who fell at Lexington and Concord, 
or to extend its protecting aegis to souls bowed down in lands 
beyond the seas. 

It is also an inspiration in patriotism to know that the 
white oak timber from which was constructed the ribs and keel 
of "Old Ironsides" the "Eagle of the Sea," which never lowered 
her "tattered ensign" to any foe, was cut from the farm of Capt. 
Unite Cox in North Maiden, now the City of Melrose, and by 
him hauled with great teams of oxen to the ship-yard at Consti- 
tution wharf in Boston. Capt. Cox was a minute man who 
marched at the Lexington alarm and rendered other valuable ser- 
vice during the revolution. lie married Hannah Sprague, a 
lineal descendant of Ralph, one of the three brothers who settled 
the territory of Middlesex County and the forest from which this 
timber came was identical with the land mentioned in the "Book 
of Possessions," the first record of real property in America, as 
belonging to him in 1638 at "Pond Fielde." Thus the frame- 
work of this noble and historic ship was preserved and guarded 
by the best blood of ancient Middlesex and finally applied to a 
providential career of heroic service. 

By the infinite wisdom of Almighty God, such men as the 
Spragues, Winthrop, Dudley, Danforth, Gookin, Greene, and 
others of their company were directed to these rugged and in- 
hospitable shores to erect in Ancient Middlesex, through the 
utmost extremity of faith and of long suffering, a Common- 
wealth, wherein the life that led to rigid purity in thought and 
action was the essential element. Should, we wonder then that 
they adopted as the groundwork of civil policy, that, "none should 
be admitted to the freedom of the body politick but such as were 


church members?" This declaration, in the light of the twentieth 
century, is freely denounced as narrow minded and bigoted. Let 
us remember, however, that they were a deeply religious, quaint 
and peculiar people, austere and inflexible in many ways, a.^ 
shown in the severity which characterized their punishment of 
crime, it being a matter of history that on the l8th day of Sep- 
tember, 1755, by order of the authorities, a woman was burned 
at the stake, in public, on the Town Common in Cambridge in 
punishment of an atrocious crime, while her paramour was gib- 
beted within a few yards of the wretched creature. Revolting 
though it may be to our sense of justice and humanity, the Quak- 
ers, a century previous through impudent speech and uncouth 
behavior, invited such punishment as they received, some of their 
women even glorying in the shame of the lash as they were 
whipped naked from town to town, through Cambridge and Ded- 
ham to the confines of the Commonwealth. Notwithstanding all 
this, they were neither visionary nor fanatical, but law-abiding, 
logical, courageous, honest and faithful. The harshness of their 
methods in the administration of corporal punishment they justi- 
fied under the Mosaic law wherein "the way of the transgressor 
is hard." As time moves on, the sublime work of these pious 
and undaunted souls shines forth in ever increasing luster, while 
the name of "Puritan," originally applied to dissenters from the 
established church as a term of scornful derision, is eagerly adop- 
ted by such as can trace their lineage back to the early fathers, 
as the proudest symbol which can emblazon the family escutcheon. 
Those only deserve to be remembered by posterity who treasure 
up the history of their ancestors. 

Under the Act of March 4, 1826, the Governor appointed 
five persons as "Commissioners of Highways" for the term of five 
years, viz.: Caleb lUitler, of Groton, Chairman; Augustus 
Tower, of Stow; Abner Wheeler, of Framingham ; Benjamin F. 
Yarnum, of Dracut (resigned in 183 1 to accept the office of 
Sheriff) ; David Townsend, of Waltham. 


On the twenty-sixth of February, 1828, this act was 
changed to four persons, to he appointed by the Governor as 
"County Commissioners." This law continued until April 8, 
1835, when it was changed so as to elect three commissioners and 
two specials. March 11, 1854, the present law was passed to 
elect one commissioner each year, to serve three years. Under 
these various acts, covering a period of seventy-nine years, the 
following twenty-six gentlemen have served as commissioners, 
viz. : — 

*Hon. Caleb Butler, Groton, 1826 to 1841. 
Hon. Augustus Tower, Stow, 1826 to 1835. 
Hon. Abner Wheeler, Framingham, 1826 to 1828, and from 1831 

to 1841. 
Hon. Benjamin F. Varnum, Dracut, 1826 to 1831/ Resigned in 

I Ton. David Townsend, Waltham, 1826 to 1837. Died in office. 
Hon. Timothy Fletcher, Charlestown, 1837 to 1846. Resigned. 
Hon. Leonard M. Parker, Shirley, 1841 to 1844. 
Hon. Seth Davis, Newton, 1841 to 1844. 
Hon. Josiah Adams, Framingham, 1844 to 1850. 
Hon. Josiah B. French, Lowell, 1844 to 1847. 
Hon. Ebenezer Barker, Charlestown, 1846 to 1853. 
Hon. Joshua Swan, Lowell, 1847 to 1850. 
Hon. Daniel S. Richardson, Lowell, 1850 to 1856. 
Hon. Leonard Huntress, Tewksbury, 1850 to 1876. 
Hon. John K. Going, Shirley, 1853 to i860, 
lion. Paul H. Sweetser, South Reading, 1856 to 1862. 
Hon. Edward J. Collins, Newton, i860 to 1872. 
lion. Joseph H. Waitt, Maiden, 1862 to 1874. 
Hon. Harrison Harwood, Natick, 1872 to 1882. Died in office. 
Hon. Daniel G. Walton, Wakefield, 1874 to 1886. 
Hon. J. Henry Read, Westford, 1876 to 1897. 
Hon. William S. Frost, Marlboro, 1882 to 1893. 

* Commissioners of Highways from 1826 to 1828. 


lion. Alphonso M. Lunt, Cambridge, 1886 tcj> 1889. 

Hon. Samuel O. Uphani, Waltham, 1889 to date. 

Hon. Frapcis Bigelow, Natick, 1893 to date. 

Hon. Levi S. Gould, Melrose, 1897 to date. \^SGdO^ 


Hon. Caleb Butler, 1826 to 1841, fifteen years. 

Hon. Leonard M. Parker, September, 1841, to September, 1844, 

three years. 
Hon. Josiah Adams, September, 1844, to September, 1850, six 

Hon. Daniel S. Richardson, September, 1850, to September, 1853, 

and January, 1855, to January, 1856, four years. 
Hon. Leonard Huntress, September, 1853, to January, 1855, 

January, 1856, to January, i860, and January 1862, to 

January, 1876, twenty years. 
Hon. Paul H. Sweetser, i860 and 1861, two years. 
Hon. Harrison Harwood, January, 1876, to August 27, 1882, six 

years. Deceased. 
Hon. Daniel G. Walton, September, 1882, to January, 1886, four 

Hon. J. Henry Read, January, 1886, to January, 1897, eleven 

Hon. Levi S. Gould, January, 1897, to f ^ ate - 

The first meeting of the "Commissioners of Highways of 
Middlesex County" appears to have been holden at "Samuel 
Kendall's" tavern in Cambridge, August 1, 1826, to consider a 
petition for a new highway from "Alewife brook in Cambridge to 
the bridge over Miller's river in Charlestown." 

The first meeting of the "Board of County Commission- 
ers," as constituted under the Act of February 26, 1828, was held 
at Concord on the second Tuesday, being the thirteenth day of 
May, 1828, with Hon. Caleb Butler as Chairman. Augustus 
Tower, Benjamin F. Varnum, and David Townsend, being the 
remainder of the board, were also in attendance. 


Chairman 1826 to 1841, Inclusive. 

Son of Caleb and Rebekah (Frost) Butler. Born in Pel- 
ham, New Hampshire, September 13, 1776, and died in Groton, 
Massachusetts, October 7, 1854, aged seventy-eight. The early 
struggles of Air. Butler, and the success which crowned an hon- 
orable career, are an object lesson to the youth of New England. 
It should encourage them to persistent effort in the attainment of 
useful knowledge against apparently insurmountable obstacles. 
According to the custom of pious families in those days, his pa- 
rents directed his youthful mind to the study of the Scriptures. 
In their lofty teachings his faith was firmly grounded, and from 
their minutest precepts he never knowingly deviated. In after 
life, a Greek Testament was a constant companion for familiar 
reference, and on the day of his death it was found lying by his 
side, with the book-mark placed at the last chapter of Revelations. 
His early schooling was to be obtained only be travelling a long 
distance from the farm, at such times as he could be spared from 
pressing duties at home, and was necessarily intermittent. His 
father was a hard-working farmer in quite moderate circum- 
stances, who needed the help of his boy, and was unable to fur- 
nish financial aid to satisfy his constant thirst for knowledge. 
His only preparation for college consisted in attending the Acad- 
emy of Daniel Hardy in Pelham less than a year. This was in 
1794, when eighteen years of age. By working hard, and teach- 
ing some, all the while studying Greek and Latin, he finally 
accumulated sufficient funds to enter Dartmouth, from which he 
graduated in 1800, delivering the salutatory oration in Latin, 
which was the highest honor conferred by the faculty at that time. 
In his Junior year he joined the college society of "Social 
Friends," and wrote a drama in three acts, entitled "Triumph of 
Infidelity Over Superstition." It was successfully performed 
August 26, 1799, by members of the society, Mr. Butler assuming 


the role of the Cardinal. Remaining in Hanover a year as tutor 
of an Indian school attached to the college, he was next employed 
hy [saiah 'Thomas, of Worcester, to correct the proofs of a Greek 
grammar he was publishing. He was appointed preceptor of 
Groton, now Lawrence, .Academy in 1802. This position wa-, 
congenial to his tastes and talent, and he soon advanced to the 
highest rank among the instructors of his period, serving until 
1815, when he abandoned the profession of teaching and .studied 
law with Hon. Luther Lawrence, of Groton. lie had no desire 
for court practice, but confined his legal employment principally 
to office work. He also became famous as a surveyor, and was 
relied upon in all difficult problems in those lines. Mis famili- 
arity with the highways of Middlesex, upon the construction and 
improvement of which he was an authority, undoubtedly contribu- 
ted to his selection by the Governor, in 1826, as Chairman of the 
first Board of Highway Commissioners of this county. 

He was much interested in the Masonic fraternity, and up- 
held the faith during the dark days of the anti-Masonic crusade. 
He held the position of W. M. of Saint Paul's Lodge, Groton, in 
1807, and was at one time High Priest of St. John's R. A. Chap- 
ter. He delivered many Masonic orations from 181 1 to 1816, 
and was present with the fraternity when Lafayette laid the 
corner-stone of Bunker Hill Monument with Masonic ceremonies 
June 17, 1825, and also at its completion, June 17, 1843. ^ e 
was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, A. F. and A. M., in 1841- 
1842, having previously served as Senior Grand Warden in 1818- 
18 19, and as Deputy Grand Master from 1824 to 1826. A 
lodge in Ayer bears his name. One of his favorite studies was 
astronomy, and it was his delight on pleasant evenings to point 
out to those interested the wonders of the starry heavens. He 
also became quite an authority in forecasting the seasons, espe- 
cially the weather during haying, and was consulted by the farm- 
ers of his section with wondering faith in his predictions. 


He wrote a fine history of the town of Groton. It is a 
standard work, the preface to which is scholarly and instructive. 
In politics he was first a Federalist, but afterwards a Whig. He- 
was Town Clerk of Groton, 1815 to 1817, and from 1823 to 1831 ; 
Trustee of Lawrence Academy from 1807 to 1836; elected to the 
Legislature in 1829, but declined to serve; Postmaster for twenty 
years; Chairman of the Selectmen; appointed by the Governor 
as Chairman of the first Hoard of County Commissioners.* He 
was widely known and respected for his sterling integrity, moral 
independence, courage, simplicity and modesty. He was famous, 
also, as a critical scholar, and for the energy and wealth of his 
intellect. It has been truly said of him that if his ambition 

had equalled his modesty, he would have become eminent. His 
mental qualities were not clouded at the approach of age, but re- 
mained bright and clear to the last. He delighted in literature 
and the classics as of old, and during his last years read the 
works of Virgil and Horace in the original. One of the most in- 
teresting events of his long and honorable career occurred at the 
jubilee of Lawrence Academy July 12, 1854, a few weeks before 
his death. At this celebration there was assembled a notable 
gathering. Among others of his pupils who were present were 
Hon. Abbott Lawrence, formerly Ambassador to England, Hon. 
Amos Kendall, formerly Postmaster-General, Hon. Joel Parker, 
LL. D., Rev. Andrew Bigelow, D. D., Rev. James Walker, D. D., 
President of Harvard College, and Hon. John P. Pngelow. Hon. 
Abbott Lawrence, in a beautiful tribute, said: "He was my only 
preceptor, and I thank God that he is able to be with us today 
at the age of seventy-eight. A sweet aroma hangs about his 

*The venerable ex-Governor George S. Boutwell, a contemporary. 
in his recently-published "Sixty Years of Public Life," says that the 
politics of Mr. Butler, being a Whig, caused him to lose both the office 
of "Postmaster and that of County Commissioner." It is related of the 
latter that when the news came that his fellow-townsman, Mr. Boutwell 
(a Democrat), was elected Governor in 1851 as a "fusionist," he ex- 
claimed, "God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, !" Political 
animosities were strong in those days. 


name, in his love of truth and justice, in his integrity of character 
in all relations of life, which I doubt not will endure long after 
he and all of us shall have passed away." 

Such was the character and such the abilities of the first 
Chairman of the County Commissioners of Middlesex County. 
In intellectual attainments, it is no disparagement to others to 
say that his equal has never yet appeared upon the hoard. 

Resigned in 1831 to accept position of High Sheriff. 

Born in Dracut in 1795, died January 11, 1841, aged forty- 
six. Son of the distinguished Revolutionary patriot and states- 
man, Major-General Joseph Bradley Varnum, who was speaker 
of the lower house of Congress, 1807 to 181 1, and President pro 
tern of the United States Senate, 18 13. He was also commis- 
sioned, Fehruary 12, 1794, by Lieutenant-Governor Samuel 
Adams as High Sheriff of Middlesex County, hut declined the 
office.. The subject of this sketch was a representative to the 
General Court in 1824 and 1825, and a Senator from Middlesex 
County in i826-i827 : i828-i829 and 1830. One of the first 

board of Highway Commissioners, and one of the first board of 
County Commissioners until 1831, when he resigned to accept 
the position of High Sheriff of Middlesex County, which posi- 
tion he honored during two terms of five years each, dying in 
office at the early age of forty-six, and at the very threshold of a 
career which promised to equal that of his illustrious father. He 
had announced to his friends a purpose to retire from the shriev- 
alty at the end of his term to seek higher honors for which 
his discretion, ability, and popularity eminently fitted him. For 
his careful and discreet management of the duties of his office 
during the Ursuline Convent disturbances, he received the thanks 
of the Governor of the Commonwealth. He was courteous and 
affable, and a splendid specimen of manly grace. His death was 
universally regretted. 



Son of Luther and Sally ( Bowers) French. Born in Bil- 
lerica December 13, 1799, died in Lowell August 21, 1876, aged 

seventy-seven. At the age of twenty-four, he was appointed 
Deputy Sheriff of Middlesex County, which he held from 1823 
to 1830. Coroner of the town of Lowell, 1827; Collector of 
Taxes, 1829; Assessor, 1833-1834; Representative in 1836, and 
again in 1862. From 1836 to 1842, a member of the Common 
Council; in 1840 and 1841, Chief Engineer of the Fire Depart- 
ment; and in 1849 an( l 1( ^5°- Mayor of the city of Lowell. From 
183 1 to 1846 he conducted an extensive staging business, carry- 
ing the United States mail between Boston and .Montreal. The 
magnitude of the staging business of Lowell in 1835 can best be 
understood by stating the fact that from forty to forty-rive stages 
left that city daily in different directions. In 1851 he was Presi- 
dent of the Northern railroad, and had been a successful builder 
and contractor. lie was energetic, sagacious, and enterprising 
to a very remarkable degree, and while his educational facilities 
were limited to the rude benches of a district school, he had a 
fine bearing, erect and commanding, and a personal magnetism 
which charmed and impressed all with whom he came in contact, 
In politics he was an old-fashioned Jaeksonian Democrat, and in 
religion a Unitarian. He was a County Commissioner from 

1844 to 1847. 


Son of Joshua and Deborah (Burbank) Swan. Born in 
Methuen January 10, 1788, died in Lowell April 21, 1867, aged 
seventy-nine. After passing through the district schools of his 
native town, he was apprenticed to a carpenter, and served his 
full time, moving to Waltham shortly afterward, where he went 
into the service of the Waltham Machine Shop, continuing in the 
employment of this corporation until 1824, when 'he moved to 


Lowell and engaged with the Lowell Machine Shop as contrac- 
tor, etc., remaining with them until 1840, when he retired from 
active work to the old "Moses Hale" estate, purchased by him 

in 1830, farming the same during the remainder of his life. On 
December 3, 1817, he married Olive Jones, of Lancaster, Massa- 
chusetts, and raised a family which has been, and is, highly re- 
spected. Joshua, Jr., was a Unitarian clergyman. Charles VV. 
is a physician of note in Brookline, and Albert G. a well-known 
citizen of Lowell. One of his grandsons is Dr. William 1). 
Swan, Medical Examiner, Cambridge; a granddaughter is the 
widow of ex-Governor William E. Russell, and another the 
widow of Frank Rolles, who was a Harvard professor. During 
the life of the Whig- party, he always acted with it, becoming a 
staunch Republican when that party was formed. He was a 
member of Saint Anne's Episcopal church, and later of Saint 
John's in Lowell. lie was President of the Mechanics' Asso- 
ciation in 1834-35. He was a Selectman of Lowell eight out of 
the ten years of its existence as a town ; was frequently elected 
as Moderator; and, upon the adoption of the city charter in 1837, 
he was elected a member of the Board of Aldermen. Me was a 
Representative in the Legislatures of 1 830-1831 and 1839, and 
again in 1844. He was a Past Master of Monitor Lodge, A. F. 
and A. M., Waltham; a member of Pentucket Lodge, Mount 
Horeb, R. A. Chapter ; and a charter member of Ahasuerus Coun- 
cil of Lowell. He was County Commissioner from 1847 to l &5°- 

Chairman, September, 1850, to September, 1853 and Janu- 
ary 1855, to January, 1857. 

Born in Tyngsboro December 1, 1816, died in Lowell 
March 21, 1890, aged seventy-three years, four months. Son of 
Hon. Daniel and Mary (Adams) Richardson. His father was a 
lawyer of distinction, who served as Postmaster of Tyngsboro 
thirty-five years, as Selectman, etc., several years, and represented 



the town and senatorial district two years in each branch of the 
Legislature. Daniel S. was a descendant of Ezekiel, who came 
to America with Governor John Winthrop in J 630, and was of 
the first company of Woburn settlers in 1640-42, having previ- 
ously lived in Charlestown proper, where lie was prominent. 
His son, Captain Josiah, settled in Chelmsford about 1659, and 
was given by the Indians, "for the love they bore him," the land 
at the confluence of the Concord and Merrimack, now mainly 
occupied as the site of the city of Lowell. His son, Lieutenant 
Josiah, lived in Chelmsford, "near the Concord river." Captain 
William, next in the line of descent, settled in Pelham, New 
Hampshire, formerly a part of Dracut, where his son, Captain 
Daniel, was born March 11, 1749. This Captain Daniel was the 
grandfather of Daniel S. He served with distinction three years 
in the Revolution, and was awarded a pension by the government. 
From this, it appears that the Richardson ancestral tree sprang 
from and has been principally nourished in the historic soil of 
ancient Middlesex. 

The subject of this sketch graduated at Harvard in 1836, 
at the age of twenty, being among the first of his class. His two 
brothers, Hon. William A., afterwards Secretary of the Treasury 
of the United States, and Hon. George F., a leading member of 
the bar, were also graduates of Harvard, and became greatly dis- 

At the age of twenty-four, he commenced the practice of 
law in Lowell, pursuing it in the same office for fifty years, few 
advocates being his peer. During his long career, it is said that he 
argued more than three hundred cases before the Supreme Court. 
To his first case, Chief Justice Shaw was an attentive listener, and 
complimented the youthful advocate by remarking, "This case 
has been very well argued." In 1842-1843 and 1847 he xVas a Rep- 
resentative to the General Court, and in 1802 a member of the 
Senate; in 1845 and 1846, President of the Common Council; 
and in 1848 a member of the Board of Aldermen of the city of 


Lowell. He was President of the Prescott National Bank six- 
teen years; President of the Lowell Manufacturing Company; 

President of the Vermont & Massachusetts railroad; of the Low- 
ell & Nashua railroad; and a member of the Board of County 
Commissioners from 1850 to 1850, holding the position of Chair- 
man for four years of his term, during which time the Lowell 
jail was erected. In politics he was first a Whig, and afterwards 
a firm and consistent Republican ; in religion, a Unitarian. He 
was a man of fine character and remarkahle attainments, his death 
creating- a vacancy in society not easily filled. We quote a coup- 
let from his valedictory, giving advice to an editor who was to 
succeed him on the Lowell Courier in 1841 : — 

" Do boldly what you do, and let your page 
Smile when it smiles, and when it rages, rage." 

In summing' up his character, nothing hetter can he written 
than to quote from lion. Benjamin F. Butler, who said: "He was 
one of the few men I ever knew who apparently had no enemies. 
The practice of the bar shows no more fragrant name than that 
of Daniel S. Richardson." Tt is certain that no member of the 
Board of County Commissioners, either living or dead, has ap- 
proached him in the wealth and power of his mind as applied to 
the practice of his chosen profession. 


Chairman, September, 1853, to January, 1855; January, 1856, 
to January, i860, and January, 1863, to January, 1876. 

Born in Rochester, New Llampshire, November 22, 181 1, 
died in Tewksbury July 19, 1885, aged seventy-four. Son of 
Joseph and Sally (Chesley) Huntress. Lie came to Lowell in 
1832, and obtained employment on the Lowell Mercury, having 
previously completed his apprenticeship as a printer in Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire. He established the Lowell Courier in 
1835, and continued to publish it until 1842, when, on account of 
poor health, he retired to a farm in Tewksbury and remained a 



resident there until the date of his death, a period of forty-three 

years. During this extended residence, he was fifty-three times 
elected as Moderator of the meetings of that town, nineteen of 
which were annual meetings. Me was also Chairman of the Hoard 
of Selectman, and held many mote positions of trust and honor 
conferred by his fellow citizens. In 1846 he was a member of the 
Mouse of Representatives from Lowell. In 1850 he was elected 
as a County Commissioner of Middlesex Count)-, serving as ( hair- 
man of the Hoard most of the time during the remarkable period 
of twenty-six years. In this responsible office he was an author- 
ity upon county practice, and served to the very general satisfac- 
tion of the people of this county. A courteous, commanding, 
genial, and hospitable Christian gentleman, of that type of the old 
school which is not too common in these latter days, he left a 
record of clean, lengthy, and most efficient public service which 
few may equal, and possibly none surpass. 


Chairman from January, 188G, to January, 1897. 

Born in Westford, August 5, 1835, died at Toledo, Ohio, 
while returning from a trip to the far West, January 26, 1901, 
aged sixty-six. Son of Zaccheus, Jr., and Alary (Heywood) 
Read, His ancestors were among the earliest settlers of Westford. 
He was educated in the schools of his native town and at West- 
ford Academy, one of his teachers being the recent able and ac- 
complished Register of Probate of Middlesex County, Samuel II. 
Folsom, Esq. ; another was Hon. John D. Long, Secretary of the 
Navy. After holding various local offices, such as Selectman 
(ten years), Overseer of the Poor, School Committee (fifteen 
years), Auditor, Moderator, etc., the people of his district, mostly 
a farming population, recognizing in him an example of one of 
their own calling who could represent them acceptably in any 
position, chose him to the General Court in 1872 and 1873. In 
1876 he received further honors by being elected a County Com- 


missioner, to which position he was constantly re-elected until 
1897, a period of twenty-one years, being Chairman during the 
last half of this extended term, only exceeded in point of time by 
but one person in the entire history of the Commissioners, viz., 
Hon. Leonard Huntress, whom he succeeded on said board, the 
combined service of these two gentlemen being forty-seven years, 
a wonderful tribute from the voters of this great county to the 
popularity and satisfactory public service of each. During his 
public career he continued to conduct the ancestral farm in West- 
ford, and made it famous for the quality of its apple vintage, 
"Read's cider" being recognized among connoisseurs as a stand- 
ard brand of superior excellence. He was Director and Secretary 
of the Westford Mutual Fire Insurance Company eighteen years, 
director of the Stony Brook railroad twenty-five year's, also one 
of the Trustees of Westford Academy. Tie was a member of 
the Masonic fraternity, and connected with the Lodge, Chapter, 
Council, Commandery, and Consistory in Lowell. He was a man 
of kindly heart and generous impulses, with an abiding faith in 
every one who professed to be a friend. Llis social qualities, 
while adding nothing to, but extracting much from, his larder of 
worldly riches, increased the priceless value of the esteem of 
those faithful and loving friends who sorrowfully followed his 
mortal remains from the old church, braving the bleak and biting 
blasts of a New England winter's day, and tenderly laid them to 
rest near the ashes and bones of that hardy ancestry which for 
more than two centuries had battled with elements from without 
and with elements from within, to establish and maintain that 
peace and prosperity which were his by the everlasting right of 
inheritance. As the rays of the setting sun glittered upon the 
cold and silent peaks of distant ranges, some faithful hearts there 
were among that weeping company, whose visions tore aside 
those frowning battlements of ice and snow, peering beyond 1 ) 
catch a glimpse of God's eternal promise of living streams and 
pastures green, where the weary, storm-tossed soul 1 may rest in 
everlasting peace. 



Chairman, January, 1897, to date. 

Son of Dr. Levi and .Elizabeth Webb (Whitmore) Gonld. 
Born in Dixmont, Maine, March 27, 1834. Was educated in Wil- 
mington and North Maiden, now Melrose, where he has resided 
since childhood. Learned the shoemaker's trade, and worked at 
the bench in early life, but subsequently became an accountant, 
and finally for many years was a furniture manufacturer and 
dealer in Boston, from which business he retired in 1889. He 
was a Selectman of Melrose in 1869, and Chairman of the Board 
from 1884 to 1892. From 1865 to 1899 (thirty-five years) he 
served as town moderator continuously, to which office he was 
elected one hundred and eight times, which, with one hundred 
and seven adjournments, made two hundred and fifteen meetings 
over which he was called upon to preside during the life of the 
town, and when it became a city in 1900, he was elected the first 
Mayor. He was a member of the House of Representatives in 
1868 and 1869. He has been upon the Board of County Com- 
missioners since 1897, serving as its Chairman during the entire 
period. He is President of the Melrose Co-operative Bank, and 
a director of the Melrose National Bank. He was President of 
the New England Furniture Exchange in 1883 and 1884, and of 
the Furniture Club of Boston in 1886. He is a member of the 
Massachusetts Society of Colonial Wars, the Society Sons of the 
American Revolution, P. M. of W r yoming Lodge, A. F. and A. 
M., M. E. H. P. of Waverly R. A. Chapter, and a member of 
Hugh de Payne's Commandery, and of the Scottish Rite. He is 
Past Chancellor of Fordell Lodge, K. of P. and is connected with 
many other societies and organizations. 

* This sketch was not a part of the original paper as read by -Mr. 
Gonld before the Lowell Historical Society but is inserted here 1))' the 
compilers of this volume. 

List of Papers read before the Society in 1902-03. 

"Historical Research and Historical Societies." Address 
by Albert Bushnell Hart, Ph. D., Professor of History, Harvard 
University, December 10, 1902. 

"Reminiscences of Early Lowell." By Mrs. Sarah W. 
Francis. Read by Solon W. Stevens, Esq., February 2.7, 1903. 

"Middlesex County, Ancient and Modern: With Brief 
Biographical Sketches of the Men who Served as Count)- Com- 
missioners from Lowell and Adjacent Towns." By Hon. Levi 
S. Gould, of Melrose. Read February 27, 1903. 

This article has since been published by authority of the 
Legislature, chapter 238, Acts of 1904. 

"Army Life among- the Indians in Dacotah in 1864-65." 
By Col. Charles A. R. Dimon. Read by Charles Cowley, Esq., 
May 13, 1903. 

"John Greenleaf Whittier's Work in Lowell." By Charles 
Cowley, Esq. Read May 13, 1903. 

"A Trip Abroad." Address by Rev. A. St. John Cham- 
bre. May 13, 1903. 

"The Cession of Louisiana and Napoleon's Part in the 
Negotiation of the Treaty of Paris." By Hosea Starr Ballon, 
of Boston. Read December 9, 1903. 

Annual Report of the Executive Committee fob 1903-04. 
Prepared and read by Solon W. Stevens, President, 
February 10, 1904. 

The attention of the members of the Lowell Historical 
Soeiety is hereby invited to the second Animal Report of its 
Executive Committee. 

There are no dramatic incidents to relate, no startling 
announcements to make, and no brilliant prospects for the future 
on which the imagination is tempted to dwell. We have passed 
the second year of our organization as a body corporate in a quiet, 
unostentatious manner trying to make some contributions to the 
data already secured which appertain to the history of that par- 
ticular section of Middlesex County wherein originated the first 
great manufacturing establishments in textile industry which have 
made the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prominent in the sis- 
terhood of States. 

At a special meeting held on Friday, February 27, 1903, a 
very interesting paper entitled "Reminiscences of early Lowell," 
prepared by Mrs. Sarah W. Francis, was read before the Society 
by the President. At this same meeting Hon. Levi S. Gould of 
Melrose, County Commissioner, gave an admirable address on 
"Middlesex County, ancient and modern," with biographical 
sketches of certain County Commissioners who have lived in or 
near Lowell. Portraits of these last named County Commissioners 
were exhibited. The address gave evidence of great research 
and ability in its preparation. 

At the regular meeting on May 13th, a paper prepared 
by the Mayor, Hon. Charles A. R. Dimon, entitled "Army life 
among the Indians in Dacotah in 1864—5," was read by Charles 
Cowley, who stated that this paper had been given to Post 42 G. 
A. R., by Mr. Dimon, and that he was authorized by Post 42 to 
present this paper to the Lowell Historical Society as a gift. At 
this meeting also Charles Cowley, Esq., read an exceedingly 
interesting paper on "John Greenlcaf Whittier's work in Lowell," 
At the regular meeting on Oct. 14, Rev. A.Et John Cham- 
bre favored the society with an informal account of his recent trip 

ANNUAL REPORT, 1903-1904 49 

to Europe during which he made especial reference to certain 
Cathedrals which are renowned for their architectural beauty and 
their peculiar historic interest. 

At the regular meeting on December 9, Mr. Hosea Starr 
Ballou, of Newton, gave an address on "The Cession of Louisiana 
and Napoleon's part in the Negotiation of the Treaty of Paris." 
In response to a request Mr. Ballou has furnished the Society 
with a copy of this valuable and instructive paper to be perma- 
nently preserved in its archives. 

There is one subject to which it is proper the attention of 
the Society should be called, and that is the necessity of some 
provision for better care and custody of the many books, pamph- 
lets, papers, manuscripts, and other similar materials owned by the 
Society, but now stowed away in boxes and cases in a position 
to which access is almost impossible.* 

If, according to the Scriptural statement, the prayer of the 
righteous availeth much, let us hope that fervent petitions may 
be offered to the end that in the near future suitable and conven- 
ient quarters may in some way be provided for the exclusive use 
and applicability of this Society, which comport with its dignity 
and the aims which it seeks to accomplish. The fulfilment of 
this desire is at present beyond our reach. But if the subject is 
borne constantly upon our minds, and if its necessity is fully 
realized, and if by personal effort and by personal influence we 
zealously strive for this result, it would seem that the attainment 
of this desire need not for a long time be reckoned among things 
which are considered impossible. In this connection your com- 
mittee would recommend that as soon as practicable the Consti- 
tution and By-Laws of this Society, with a list of its members 
be printed for use, and for distribution. The advantages of this 
procedure are obvious and need no explanation. 

A list of the contributions from other Literary and His- 
torical Societies has been prepared by the librarian. 

* The above recommendation lias since been complied with. 



Mrs. Harriet M. Bartlett, widow of the late Charles E. A. 
Bartlett, died on March II, 1903, at 362 East Merrimack Street 
in this city after a very brief illness. 

Mrs. Bartlett was a daughter of the late Isaac Cooper, 
widely known as one of the older residents of Lowell. She was 
a very estimable lady, and was regarded by a large circle of inti- 
mate friends as an exceptionally talented and gifted woman. In 
the home life, social life and church life, her presence was always 
welcome because of her sunny disposition and her readiness to 
always do her share in every good work which provided for the 
happiness and welfare of others. 

The Hon. James W. Bennett died at his home on Branch 
.Street, April 14, 1903, at the age of seventy years. , He was born 
in Newmarket, New Hampshire, came to Lowell in 1848, and was 
active in many public, progressive movements in this city during 
the long period of his continuous residence here. He was iden- 
tified with many corporate interests and because of his public 
spirit he was prominent in the management of many undertakings 
of responsibility and usefulness. He was mayor of this city one 
year during the Spanish war, and was a member of the State 
Legislature in 1879 and 1880. He was a large-hearted man, 
strong in purpose and achievement. He was a self-made man and 
by diligence and shrewdness in business was successful in the 
attainment of profitable results. He was a man of marked indi- 
viduality, of character, peculiar, persistent, honest and sincere. 
His funeral was attended by a large number of our prominent 
citizens who came to pay their last tribute of esteem to one who 
had been long known as a popular and influential man. At the 
time of his death he was a member of the Executive Committee 
of this Society. 

Mr. James Dinsmoor died August 26, 1903, at about eighty- 
five years of age. He was a direct descendant of the original 
Scotch-Irish settlers of Londonderry, New Hampshire. He pre- 
pared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, 

ANNUAL REPORT, I903-I904 5' 

graduated at Dartmouth in 1841, studied law with Judge Hop- 
kinson and after his admission to the bar formed a partnership 
for the practice of law with the late ex-congressman, Benjamin 
Dean. He assisted in the organization of the Traders and Me- 
chanics Insurance Company and was its secretary for the period 
of eight years. He served in the city council, and in 1850-1 851 
was a member of the State Legislature. About this time, on 
account of ill health and by the advice of his physician he left 
Lowell and established a residence in Sterling, Illinois. Here he 
carried on a large law practice and held many positions of trust 
including four terms of service in the Legislature of Illinois. 

He returned to Lowell in May, 1902, here to pass the re- 
mainder of his days, and among the first things which received 
his attention was a membership in the Lowell Historical Society. 
Mr. Dinsmoor was a very intelligent, estimable man, although he 
was but little known to the present generation of Lowellians. Dur- 
ing his residence here in the years previous to the early fifties, 
and during his residence in his adopted home in Illinois, he won 
for himself the reputation of a courteous gentleman, and an up- 
right, influential man. 

Mr. Jason Fuller died October 22, 1903, at his home on 
Nesmith Street, at the age of sixty-nine years. He was born in 
Hudson, New Hampshire. He was for many years the senior 
member of the well known firm of Fuller and Clark, grocers on 
East Merrimack Street. He was quiet and unassuming in man- 
ner, kind and genial in disposition. He was a member of the 
High Street Church and was held in high esteem by all who 
knew him. 

Mr. Joseph D. Gould died at his home in North P.illeriea, 
October 2J } 1903, at the age of sixty-eight years. He was born 
in Jamaica Plain. He was a graduate of the Lawrence Scientific 
School of Harvard, and was afterward an instructor there. 1 Ie 
was regarded as a professional chemist of the highest rank. In 
early manhood he took up his residence in North Billerica and 



assumed charge of the chemical works of C. S. Talbot & Co., with 
which firm he maintained his connection until the time of his 
death, being a member of the Talbot Dyewood and Chemical 
Company. He was universally loved for his quiet habits, his 
amiable disposition, and his scholarly habits. He was a thorough 
scientific student all his life and was an authority in his particular 
line. His loss is mourned as that of an upright, skilful, scholarly 

Mr. William Henry White, a prominent citizen of Lowell, 
died, after a very short illness, at Pittsfield, New Hampshire, 
November 12, 1903, at the age of seventy-four years. Mr. White 
was the ninth in descent from the original William White, one of 
the passengers in the Mayflower, and a signer of the famous com- 
pact. He was born in Woburn. He was in boyhood apprenticed 
to a machinist to qualify himself for the business of a railroad 
draughtsman and engineer. Subsequently he abandoned this line 
of work and became interested in the leather business, and in 1863 
located in Lowell. 'The firm of White Bros. & Company became 
widely known by what has been termed "its exploitation of valu- 
able proprietary shoe leathers." Recently this firm was merged 
in the American Hide and Leather Company and by this means 
Mr. White was enabled to lay aside many of the heavy business 
cares which he had so successfully sustained for many years. He 
was one of our most highly respected citizens, always prompt and 
ready to lend his influence in the development of any good work. 
He was a successful business man, an enterprising citizen and a 
christian gentleman. He will be greatly missed, not only in the 
High Street Congregational Church of which he was a prominent 
member, but throughout the community where he has resided so 
many years. 

Thus one by one our ranks are depleted and pleasant and 
familiar faces are lost from sight. In the rapid whirl of daily 
life we are ever and anon summoned to halt in our career to pay 
the last tribute of respect to some associate who in the midst of 
usefulness has dropped by the way. 


In a world of mysteries we little know who next will be 
challenged to meet the greatest of all mysteries. When the 
record of each of us shall be written may it he a registry of loy- 
alty to noble aims and of sincere endeavor to benefit our fellow 
men ! 

Col. Marie Louis Amand Ansart De Marisquelles, a French 
Officer of Distinction in the Revolutionary War. 
By Mrs. Sara Swan Griffin. Read May ii, 1904. 

In reviving the early memories and in studying the past 
of New England, one often meets with facts and traditions most 
fascinating and interesting to the student of history, and surely, 
no modern romance can compare in adventure with the actual 
life and deeds of the subject of this sketch — Col. Marie Louis 
Amand Ansart De Marisquelles. 

In the old Woodbine Cemetery in Dracut, Massachusetts, 
is an ancient headstone with this inscription : Erected in memory 
of Col. Louis Ansart who departed this life May 22, A. D., 1804, 
ae 62. 

Col. Ansart was a native of Erance ; he arrived in this 
country in 1776 and by the authorities of Massachusetts was im- 
mediately appointed Colonel of Artillery and Inspector General 
of the Foundries in which capacity he served until the close of the 
war of the Revolution. 

Marie Louis Amand Ansart De Marisquelles was born in 
France in 1742, probably in the province of Arras. According to 
family records, he was of noble birth, his father bearing the rank 
of Marquis. He was one of a number of children, having at 
least one brother and two sisters. His brother being the elder, 
would by the law of France, have inherited the title of Marquis. 
Marie Louis De Marisquelles had also powerful and wealthy rel- 
atives, one of them the Marquis of Montalembert, living in An- 
gouleme, and although of great estate, was devoted to the study 
of case-mates, of fortifications and of artillery in general, and 
was a noted French Engineer. 

Our hero lived the life of the youth of noble family in 
those times. At a proper age, he entered a military academy 
where fencing, horsemanship, sword exercise and quieter studies 
filled his days ; this academy admitted only boys of noble rank 
and was the one in which Louis XVI and the young Marquis de 
Lafayette were fitted for their duties in the great world, and it 


is most interesting to relate, that according to family tradition, 
these three graduates of this academy were, in maturer life warm 
and loyal friends. De Marisquelles was very proficient in his 
studies, both classical and military, and at the early age of four- 
teen, his father purchased for him a Lieutenant's commission, and. 
thus he entered upon the military service of his native country. 
When he reached manhood, Marie Louis De Marisquelles was 
versed in all the manly arts of the day, a favorite at the French 
Court, at one time a member of the King's body guard, debonair, 
handsome and fascinating, the possessor of a generous income 
from his father, who besides his landed property, had amassed 
considerable wealth as conjointly with his relative, the Marquis 
of Montalembert, he had furnished for many years all the iron 
cannon in the service of the French King. Like all young men 
of his age and rank, De Marisquelles led the life of the time, 
somewhat gay, addicted to high play, and not averse to settling 
a dispute by the then noble art of duelling. Travelled, accom- 
plished, brave and daring, he was a favorite everywhere, yet 
sometimes his high spirit led to unpleasant consequences. An 
adventure of his youth is thus related by one of his descendants : 
During a public entertainment held in Paris, Lieutenant De 
Marisquelles occupied a box in the amphitheatre accompanied by 
his lady and chaperon. A French Noble, somewhat overcome 
with wine, intruded into the box occupied by De Marisquelles, 
and insisted on remaining there despite the remonstrances of the 
Lieutenant, finally becoming exceedingly insolent. De Maris- 
quelles then seized him bodily, bore him to the front of the box 
and pitched him over very unceremoniously into the audience 
below. The offended French nobleman being of great influence, 
succeeded in having Lieutenant Marisquelles arrested for this 
offence, but he was imprisoned only a short time and finally lib- 
erated without trial. 

An adventure of his while travelling in Italy is somewhat 
sensational in nature but throws light on the ilife of that day. 



Lieutenant De Marisquelles had been playing for high stakes at 
a gambling resort in a certain city in Italy and had been very 
successful, winning money, gold, watches and diamonds until he 
was heavily laden, but as he was driving to his hotel that night, 
his postillion was shot and his carriage stopped, and De Maris- 
quelles received a blow on his head that stunned him. When he 
recovered consciousness he found himself lying by the road side, 
half stripped, robbed of all his valuables, and suffering from a 
dirk-knife wound in his side; he was carried to his hotel and after 
a severe illness, was glad to leave the Italian city. 

In his youth Lieutenant De Marisquelles was of a pecu- 
liarly fair complexion, tall and slender, with particularly delicate 
hands, and this rather feminine style of beauty sometimes de- 
ceived strangers, as to his bravery. Being at one time insulted 
at some public event in France, young De Marisquelles promptly 
challenged his insulter to defend himself with his sword, but his 
opponent refused the challenge, stating that he never fought with 
"girls," meaning to cast a slur on the fair looks and immaculate 
appearance of De Marisquelles. Tradition says that the Lieu- 
tenant, exasperated beyond control, drew his sword and made 
such lightning like passes around his opponent, barely touching 
him, and yet with every touch drawing blood, that his adversary, 
after apologizing, ignominiously retreated. 

It must not be thought by these incidents of adventure, 
that De Marisquelles led a frivolous or effeminate life. For 
many years now, he had been associated with his father and the 
Marquis Montalembert in the Forges of France and had become 
a skilful and noted Military Engineer; had gained the rank 
of Captain of Infantry, and it is said that his sound advice and 
good sense were much appreciated at the French Court and were 
of great value to Louis XVI in his unhappy reign. 

During the struggle of the American Colonies with Great 
Britain, the eyes of France were turned with great interest to- 
wards our shores and the conflict became an absorbing topic in 


that country. None there were more sympathetic in their 
feelings towards us than Marie Louis Amand Ansart De Maris- 
quelles, and he finally determined to offer his services to the strug- 
gling Colonies. Tradition states that he accompanied Lafay- 
ette to this country as aid, but the records show that his arrival 
antedated Lafayette's by a year. The friendship between these 
two Frenchmen was very strong and probably this intimacy gave 
rise to the tradition. Captain De Marisquelles came to America 
in 1776, bringing credentials from high officials in his native land 
in regard to his skill in the Forges of France and the casting of 
solid cannon. De Marisquelles at once made the following pro- 
posal to the General Court of Massachusetts, of which proposal 
the following is an exact copy from the Court Records of the 
State House, Boston : 

Monday, Dec. 9th, 1776, Present in Council, Honb'le 

James Bowdoin John Taylor 

Jeremiah Sever Benja. White 

Caleb Cushing William Phillips 

Benja. Chadbourne Benja. Austin 

Thomas Cushing Henry Gardner 

Benja. Lincoln Daniel Davis 

Samuel Holton Davis Sewall 

Jabez Fisher, Esq. Daniel Hopkins 
Francis Dana, Esq. 

Proposal of Monsieur De Marisquelles, viz : Marie Louis Amand 
Ansart De Marisquelles, an old Captain of Infantry, having been 
brought up in the Forges of France (his father and the Marquis 
of Montalembert, his relative having furnished for many years 
all the iron cannon in the service of the French King) proposes 
to the Honb'le Council and House of Representatives to establish 
Furnaces in the State of Massachusetts Bay, upon account of the 
Government, for the purpose of furnishing the State with all such 
Iron Cannon as they may need. He has some particular methods 



of softening the iron by a mixture of ores and minerals ; and also 
of casting the Cannon solid and boreing the same by which means 
they are rendered massey and yet stronger than others cast with 
a Cylinder. Formerly all Cannon were cast with a Cylinder 
which always occasioned many little Holes or Cavities in the 
Pieces and which frequently occasioned their bursting. His father 
having observed how prejudicial these Cavities were to the Ser- 
vice of the Artillery, he, in the year 1750, cast many solid cannon 
and found them superior to those cast with a Cylinder ; and at 
present, no other but solid Cannon are cast in the Forges of 
France. His Father is the inventor of the machine which is used 
for boring said cannon ; and with it, a twenty-four pounder may 
be bored, polished and the spruce cut off in. twenty four hours. 

If the State will furnish the Land, Buildings, Machines, 
and every necessary material for the purposes, and cannon, he 
will construct the Furnaces and superintend and direct the Build- 
ings and everything relating to the said Foundry, which if ready 
and the mills prepared for Boring, he will then furnish one Can- 
non ready for Service every twenty four Hours out of the com- 
mon Iron ore within this State, it being understood that he 
should have cast a few before-hand to give them time to cool. 
The Calibre or Bore of the Cannon will depend upon the large- 
ness of the Furnaces. He will prove his cannon before Com- 
missaries appointed by the State. Fie will disclose at any time 
all his knowledge in the premises, to any such persons as the 
State may Order and to no others. And if he does not fulfill 
the whole promised on his part, in these proposals (unavoidable 
casualties excepted) he agrees not only to forfeit all claim to any 
thing, by virtue of these presents, but also to forfeit the sum of 
One Thousand pounds to satisfy the damages the State may sus- 
tain thro' his failure in fulfilling his Proposals aforesaid. He 
expects from the State to receive three hundred Dollars in hand 
to compensate the expenses he has been at in removing from 
Europe to this State ; and also One Thousand Dollars yearly from 


and after the date hereof, until the end of the present War be- 
tween Great Britain and the United States of America; and after 
that time the Sum of Six Hundred Sixty Six and two thirds 
Dollars, yearly during his life. lie, doing and performing his 
part in all respects as aforesaid. He also expects the honor of 
a Colonel's Commission to give him Rank but without any com- 
mand or pay in virtue of said Commission. Witness his hand at 
Boston, December 6th, 1776. 


Signed by the above mentioned Mons'r De Marisquelles 
after being fully interpreted to him in the presence of James Price. 

Boston, December 7th, 1776. 

We the Subscribers, being a Committee o'f the Honb'le 
House of Representatives, appointed to agree with the aforemen- 
tioned Monsieur De Marisquelles, Do, in behalf of Honb'le House 
agree to the foregoing Proposals. 

Palmer Committee 

N. dishing Of The House 

State of Massachusetts Bay. 

In the House of Representatives, Dec. 7th, 1776. The 
aforegoing Agreement being read, the same was approved of, 

Sent up for concurrence 


Speaker P. T. 

In Council, December 9th, 1776. 

Read and concurred 


Consented to by 15 of the Council. 

Besides the title of Colonel of Artillery granted him by 
the Council, De Marisquelles was appointed Inspector General of 
the Foundries of Massachusetts. He built his Furnaces for the 



casting of solid cannon in different towns in this State, Bridge- 
water, Titticut and Stoughtonham, each containing one, and it is 
said that some of his cannon and mortars are yet in existence, 
and are still serviceable and valuable. One of the cannon in- 
scribed with his name is to be found in Cambridge. In 1778, 
Admiral d'Estaing asked the General Court for assistance in 
protecting his French Fleet then in Boston Harbor, and Colonel 
De Marisquelles was sent to his relief and aid, as the following 
Order from the Council will testify: 

Monday morning, August 31, 1778, five o'clock. 
Present in Council, 
Hon'ble Jeremiah Powell 

Art em as Ward i 

Walter Spinner 

Jedediah Preble 

Thomas Cushing 

Benj'a White, Registrer 

Benj'a Austin 

Henry Gardner 

Nathan Cushing 

Joseph Simpson 

John Pitts 

Oliver Wendall, Esq. 

Whereas Vice Admiral Count de 'Estaing has requested 
that this Board would appoint an officer to direct and oversee the 
erecting certain works which he thinks necessary to be thrown 
up in order to secure his ships now in Nantasket Road, against 
the enemies fleet supposed to be in this bay. Therefore Louis 
De Marisquelles, Colonel of Artillery and Inspector of the gene- 
ral foundries of this State, is hereby appointed an Engineer to 
oversee and direct in the erecting such works as Vice Admiral 
Count de 'Estaing shall think necessary to have thrown up, for 
the purpose of securing the ships under his command in Nantas- 


ket Road. And Colonel De Marisquelles will repair to Vice 
Admiral Count de 'Estaing without loss of time and know his 
pleasure on the premises and follow his orders 'till the works 
aforesaid are finished. Whereas the Count de 'Estaing has pro- 
posed to throw up some works upon Hull, Point Alderton,* the 
head of Long Island, and another Hill, near the places above 
mentioned for the defence of this Harbor, as well as the fleet 
under his command, Provided he can be supplied with a number 
of Spades and Pick Axes, and also a quantity of Timber and 
Plank for platforms. Ordered that the Board of War supply 
Colonel De Marisquelles (who is appointed to oversee this busi- 
ness) with such a number of Spades and Pick Axes as he may 
think necessary and also with such a number of suitable boats as 
may be wanted for the transportation of Cannon, Timber, and 
Plank, for the purpose aforesaid, and it is further ordered that 
the Committee for fortifying the Harbor of Boston, also supply 
Colonel De Marisquelles with such a quantity of Timber and 
Plank as he may have occasion for, for the business aforesaid, 
out of the Plank and Timber they have provided for Castle 

In the same year 1778, troops were sent from Massachu- 
setts to Newport, Rhode Island, to assist Gen. Sullivan in forcing 
the British to leave that State. Colonel Louis Ansart De Maris- 
quelles was appointed aid-de-camp to General Sullivan who was 
in command of the American forces. General James Mitchell 
Varnum came from the Continental Army in Rhode Island with 
his brigade to assist in the undertaking, and, to the great joy of 
De Marisquelles, the Marquis de Lafayette came from the 
American Camp to help in this expedition. Aid was also ex- 
pected from the fleet of d'Estaing, but a violent storm, both on 
sea and land defeated the whole enterprise. This attempt of 
General Sullivan cannot be considered a success, and De Maris- 
quelles suffered severely, personally, he having been seriously 
wounded during an assault on the British forces. 

* Allerton. 



During this expedition against the British in Rhode Island, 
De Marisquelles met, probably for the first time, General James 
Mitchell Varnum, of Dracut, and a sincere friendship was formed 
between them, enduring through the brief life of the gallant 
General Varnum, but this is not thought to have been the first 
meeting between the Marquis de Fafayette and De Marisquelles 
in America, as tradition claims that the two noble Frenchmen 
had made opportunities to see each other previously. Soon after 
the return of Colonel De Marisquelles to Boston, Lafayette 
visited him there, while on a political mission to that city, under 
permission of Congress. 

There is a sad little love story connected with the memory 
of the gallant Frenchman, whether true or false, I know not. It 
is to the effect that when De Marisquelles sailed from France he 
left behind him, a sorrowing demoiselle for whose sake he went 
forth to gain additional fame and glory ; her letters followed him 
here, but there were but few to translate a French address, and, 
so many of her messages were never delivered to her lover. 
He, hurt and offended at her supposed silence, sent no word 
across the water, and the fair demoiselle faded away, happy in 
her belief in her hero, but mourning him as dead in "savage 
America." But whatever the authority of this tradition, it is a 
fact that De Marisquelles fell passionately in love with, and mar- 
ried a Miss Wimble, the daughter of Captain William Wimble 
of Boston, about the year 1778. The Wimble family occupied 
a high social position in Boston and held large grants of land 
from the government in the South ; it is said that Wilmington, 
North Carolina is built on a section of the Wimble property. 

The married happiness of De Marisquelles was short, as 
his bride died within a twelve-month of the wedding. 

"Ah, life is brief, though love be long 
The altar and the bier, 
The burial hymn and bridal song 
Were both in one short year." i' 


The lost bride of De Marisquelles had a younger sister 
who resembled her greatly, being very beautiful. When the 

year of mourning had elapsed, De Marisquelles proposed mar- 
riage to the fair Catharine, then a girl of eighteen, who accepted 
him gladly, being very much fascinated with the handsome high- 
bred officer, although he was twice her age, and they were mar- 
ried September 9, 1781. After his marriage to Miss Catherine 
Wimble, De Marisquelles resided for a while in Boston, probably 
at the Wimble homestead where his two oldest children. Robert 
and Louis were born, and he made that city his home until the 
close of the Revolutionary War and the signing of the treaty in 
Paris in 1783. About the year 1784, De Marisquelles re- 
moved to Dracut, Massachusetts, occupying the farm styled "The 
Ministree," formerly the home of Rev. Thomas Parker, the first 
minister of Dracut, situated on the "Old Ferry Road," off 
from what is now Varnum Avenue, and nearly opposite the "Old 
Middlesex Tavern" across the river. De Marisquelles had been 
influenced in his choice of a home by several motives : a lover of 
the beauties of Nature, on one of his rides through the country, 
he had remarked the loveliness of the Merrimack River, bordered 
by the green fields of Dracut, and his interest in the town had 
been stimulated through his friendship with James Mitchell Var- 
num, a native of Dracut. An ardent sportsman. De Marisquelles 
had discovered that the Merrimack was alive with salmon, and 
he recalled the advice of his father, the Marquis, who, on his son 
Louis leaving France, advised him if he settled in a new country, 
to choose a home near some large river as then he need never 
starve. And so, to this quiet country home, came the gallant 
officer, the travelled gentleman, the one-time favorite at the 
Trench Court, and began life anew under strangely different 
environments, but the new conditions had their compensating at- 
tractions. De Marisquelles was attached to his young American 
wife and the children that came to them. She bore him twelve 
in all, five sons and seven daughters, ten of them being born in 



the "Old Ministree" which De Marisquelles made his permanent 
home, the remainder of his days. De Marisquelles held the office 
of Inspector General of the Foundries of Massachusetts for his 
life, and although the duties incumbent on his position were 
merely nominal after the close of the Revolutionary War, the 
office kept De Marisquelles in touch with military affairs and 
military men. 

The Hamblett, or, as it was afterwards called the Ansart 
Ferry, was almost at his door, and De Marisquelles could easily 
join in whatever festivities were held in the then famous Middle- 
sex Tavern, for, in those days it was a general stopping place for 
travellers to and from Boston, and the entertainments there were 
said to be of a lively nature ; or, by the use of the stage which ran 
from the tavern he could attend the more formal functions among 
his friends in the stately city of Boston or in the larger world 

"Yet still in gay and careless ease 
In harvest field or dance, 
He brought the gentle courtesies, 
The nameless grace of France." 

And his old friends across the ocean did not forget him. 
In 1784, when Lafayette re-visited America, he was a guest for 
a day at the home of De Marisquelles in Dracut. A descendant 
of the family has told me that his grandfather* used often to 
speak of this visit of Lafayette to his father, De Marisquelles. 
The Marquis came from Boston with coach and four, outriders 
and footmen, and crossed over on the "Old Ferry" to the Dracut 
shore. One pleasant afternoon, not long ago, I walked up the 
green and grassy lane through which Lafayette had passed over 
a hundred years ago, and I tried to picture the meeting of those 
two old friends, on the spot where I then stood — the stately Mar- 
quis in the dress of his rank and age, velvet suit, long silk stock- 
ings, and shoes with silver buckles, and the no less courtly host, 
but, perhaps in plainer garb. As Nature is tl t ie same today 
* Atis Ansart 


on this bank of the Merrimack, as long ago; the lovely winding 
river at onr feet, the wide-spreading velvety fields, and the bril- 
liant blue sky over all — it seemed as if Time swept the years 
away, and I stood, in truth, a witness to the meeting. 

De Marisquelles made three trips to France during his 
married life, to renew old friendships and see his own kindred, 
two of his sisters in France being especially dear to him, and con- 
stant correspondents of his. On one of his return trips, De 
Marisquelles brought with him some young mulberry trees, in- 
tending to engage in the raising of silk-worms, but the New Eng- 
land east winds were fatal to this enterprise, although the trees 
grew to great stature. 

A descendant of Colonel De Marisquelles relates that her 
grandfather also brought from FYance at one time, seven im- 
mense chests filled with the richest silks, rarest laces, and mag- 
nificent brocades that were manufactured in France. De Maris- 
quelles intended to realize some profit by introducing these goods 
into America, but the war had decreased the revenue of the 
Americans, so that but few of them were sold, and the goods 
that were not given away were used to a great degree in the 
family of De Marisquelles ; my informant telling me that her 
grandmother had at one time nineteen silk gowns of different 
tints and fabrics. 

De Marisquelles was in France when his dear friend and 
patron, Louis XVI was arrested and imprisoned, the first steps 
towards the fatal guillotine, by which he suffered in January, 1 
1793. Whether any of the noble relatives of De Marisquelles 
were victims to the same fate is a matter of uncertainty, but, 
surely during the Revolution in France, that country was a very 
unsafe abiding place for the nobility. Six months after the de- 
capitation of Louis XV J, De Marisquelles announced his inten- 
tion to apply for an act of naturalization and become an American 
citizen. I am told that he did not make this decision until after 
the death of his father, so it is probable that hit father's death 



occurred about the time of the execution of Louis XVI. At the 
same time that De Marisquelles made application for the act of 
naturalization, he also petitioned that the Legislature give him 
permission to omit the addition of De Marisquelles to his name 
and that. he should be known as Louis Ansart. That these peti- 
tions were granted the following document will testify: 

''Louis Ansart De Marisquelles — Petition. To the Honbl'e 
Senate and House of Representatives in General Court As- 

Humbly sheweth that Louis Ansart De Marisquelles has 
been in America ever since the second year of the War between 
Great Britain and the United States of America and has been a 
resident of this Commonwealth * * * * 

That he is about to make Application to a Law Court, 
agreeable to a Law of the United States, for an Act of Naturali- 
zation, and being desirous of being naturalized by the name of 
Louis Ansart which is his Christian and Family Name. He 
prays your Honors to pass an Act authorizing him to omit the 
addition of De Marisquelles, and that in future to be known by 
the name of Louis Ansart and as in duty bound shall ever pray. 


"Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 

In the year of our Lord, 1793. An Act authorizing Louis 
Ansart De Marisquelles to omit the addition of De Marisquelles 
and be called and known by the name of Louis Ansart * * * 

Whereas Louis Ansart De Marisquelles of Dracut, in the 
County of Middlesex has petitioned this Court, praying that he 
may be authorized to omit the addition of De Marisquelles and 
that he may be called and known by the name of Louis Ansart 
which are his Christian and Family name. 

Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives in General Court assembled and by the authority of 
the same, that said Louis Ansart De Marisquelles be, and he 


hereby is allowed and authorized to omit the said addition of De 
Marisquelles and that he be hereafter called and known by the 
name of Louis Ansart. 

In, Senate June 3d, 1793. This bill having had two 
several readings, passed to be engrossed. 
Sent down for concurrence. 



In the House of Representatives, June 4, 1793. 
This bill having had three several readings passed on con- 
currence to be engrossed. 

Sent up for concurrence. 



In Senate, June 4, 1793. 
Read and concurred. 



During his residence in Dracut, Colonel Ansart, as he must 
now be called, was interested in all that pertained to the welfare 
of his adopted town. His name is found as one of the first pro- 
prietors of the early Toll Bridge over the Merrimack River at 
Pawtucket Falls, and records are found that show that he was 
active in the founding of school and church in Dracut. With 
his government income and inherited wealth, Colonel Ansart 
dwelt in excellent style for those days. He kept servants both 
white and colored, importing a French cook for his own domestic 
service, and drove in a sulky with a span of fine horses. It is 
said that his was the first sulky owned in Dracut. Colonel An- 
sart spent money so freely, that except the acres of land which at 
different times he purchased to increase his farm that extended 
far along the "Old River Meadow Road," we can find no records 
that he amassed any property. 



In appearance, Colonel Ansart was a very handsome man, 
with his fair complexion and brilliant blue eyes, standing six feet 
high and weighing 200 pounds. I have seen a photograph taken 
from a painted miniature of him in his later years, that corrobo- 
rates all the traditions of his fine personality. in disposition, as 
was natural from his training and military life, he was stern, 
rigid, and imperious but withal so lovable that he was adored by 
family and servants. 

Colonel Ansart died at the age of sixty-two, and was 
buried in the cemetery which he had apportioned from his farm 
and given to Dracut for the use of the Ansarts, Coburns, and 
Varnums, and where after "life's fitful fever," he sleeps as calmly 
on the rugged New England hillside, as if he lay in the ancestral 
tomb in sunny France. 

Owing to the change of name, the memory and grave of 
Colonel Ansart have not received the homage which the French 
government loves to pay to its noblemen who served in the War 
of the Revolution in America, but when our country publishes its 
"Roll of Honor" of those who assisted in securing the Independ- 
ence of the Colonies by the shedding of their blood, or the giving 
of their strength and skill, among those whom his adopted coun- 
try shall delight thus to honor, will be enrolled the name of Col- 
onel Marie Louis Amand Ansart De Marisquelles. 

A Sketch of the Life of General James M. Varnum. By 
George B. Coburn. Read October 12, 1904. 

Whatever is a product of old Dracut seems to be a fit sub- 
ject for the consideration of our Society since that town may 
fairly be looked upon as a kind of foster-mother to our city, 
Chelmsford being the natural parent. 

Therefore 1 invite your attention for a few moments to 
the antecedents and career of Gen. James .Mitchell Varnum, a 
native of Dracut. 

Most people in this vicinity are very familiar with the 
main features in the life of his illustrious brother, Gen. Joseph 
B. Varnum, the incidents of whose career have been often dwelt 
upon, he having' resided all his life in his native town, while the 
subject of my sketch removed therefrom at an early age and never 
afterwards made his home in his native state. i 

James M. was the senior of Joseph 1_>. by about two years, 
having been born in 1748. 

Their father, Major Samuel Varnum, was a man of con- 
siderable local reputation and resided in the Easterly part of Dra- 
cut near the old dwelling of his son now standing. 

He owned a very large tract of land running north from 
the Merrimack River on which he maintained a ferry and had 
extensive fishing privileges. 

His tombstone may be seen at the old Varnum cemetery 
near that of his more noted son, which bears the long inscription 
probably familiar to all here. 

Favored by nature with a brilliant intellect James M. Var- 
num had the advantage over his brother of a liberal education. 
In his day I think it was the custom to select one of the sons, 
generally the oldest, for such a purpose. His younger brother 
was entirely self-educated beyond the meager privileges of a 
common district school for a few weeks each year. I have often 
heard my grandmother say that her father stated that most of 
his education was obtained before an open fire with a pine knot 
for a light. James M. was sent to Harvard where he spent a 



year. The following year he removed to Rhode Island College, 
afterwards Brown University. What were the circumstances 
which brought about the change 1 have been unable to determine. 
Harvard must have had a name and fame in this locality greater 
than any other institution of learning, and the proximity of its 
seat must have been a very great advantage in those days of 
stage coaches. However, so far as 1 can find out we are left 
entirely to conjecture on this point. It could hardly have been 
deficient scholarship, for he seems at once to have taken a high 
stand at the Rhode Island institution. 

His abilities early pointed out the forum as the proper 
arena and he began at once to debate the absorbing public ques- 
tions of the times. It is interesting to learn that, curiously 
enough, he was at the first commencement of his alma mater when 
he was twenty-one years of age, maintaining the negative of the 
question, "Whether British America can under the present cir- 
cumstances, consistant with good policy affect to become an in- 
dependent state." Whether he took that side from choice does 
not appear. The date of the debate was 1769, a time when the 
fires of the coming conflict were already lighted. 

Since he was such an ardent devotee of the patriot's cause 
six years later, it is probable that he was assigned to the negative, 
though we have often seen as rapid conversions as would have 
been his had he laid down his sincere convictions in the debate. 
He acquitted himself well in the contention and it is related, 
gained much credit therefrom. 

He taught a classical school for a short time after his grad- 
uation and then entered the law office of Hon. Oliver Arnold, 
Attorney General of Rhode Island, where he made rapid progress 
in his legal studies and was admitted to the bar in 1771, at the 
age of twenty-two. 

He was soon married to a daughter of Hon. Cromel Child 
of East Greenwich, of a family of distinction. 


His practice must have materialized at once, for he was 
soon able to occupy a very fine mansion for times, which 
still remains at East Greenwich an object of great interest to his 
connections. In this dwelling he afterward entertained Washing- 
ton, Greene, Sullivan, and others, while stationed at Rhode Island. 

A French Commissary General who dined there relates 
that the conversation was entirely in Latin, indicating that Var- 
num had given close attention to that language while at college. 

He early developed a taste for military affairs and by 1774 
had become Colonel of the Kentish Guards, an organization which 
was prolific of officers in the Revolutionary service. 

His military experience was very timely, for upon the 
resort to arms, the following year, he was made Colonel of a 
Regiment of Rhode Island Infantry, marched to Boston and was 
under fire at the shelling of Roxbury June 17, 1775. 

When Boston was evacuated he went with the army to 
New York and took part in the operations around that city and 
later in the battle of White Plains. 

In October, Washington specially recommended him for 
retention in the army for the war, and in December he was ap- 
pointed Brigadier General on Continental establishment, and in 
the following February Washington notified him of his promotion 
to the same rank in the Continental Army in very flattering terms. 

November 1877, he was ordered by Washington to take 
command of Fort Mercer, Red Bank and Fort Mifflin. 

After a heroic defence of Fort Mifflin he reported to Wash- 
ington, "We have lost a great many men today. A great many 
officers are killed and wounded. My fine Company of Artillery 
is almost destroyed. We shall be obliged to evacuate the fort 

In June, 1778, he returned with his brigade to defend 
Rhode Island against a British attack and took part in the ''bat- 
tle of Rhode Island," so called. 




In March, 1779, having tendered his resignation, he was 

honorably discharged and never again appeared in the military 
service except for a short period with Count Rochambcau. 

It seems probable that this move was for the purpose of 
entering- the civil service, a more appropriate field for his talents, 
for Rhode Island immediately chose him a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress, where he served from 1786 to 1787. 

That body sat with closed doors and we have no full report 
of its proceedings, but it is known that he took a prominent part 
in its discussions. 

One member, Johnson of Connecticut, refers to him as "a 
man of uncommon talents and the most brilliant eloquence." 

Resuming his practice at the bar after the war, he appears 
to have had a great reputation, and was retained in most of the 
important cases in the state as well as involved in the discussion 
of the vital political issues then pending. 

A case in which he won great honors is known as the 
great case of "Trevitt vs. Weeden," the issue being one over 
which the people had been wrought up to a high pitch of ex- 

It arose in 1786, three years after the treaty of peace. In 
May of that year the legislature of Rhode Island voted an issue 
of one hundred thousand pounds in bills or notes and enacted 
that they should be a legal tender for all "fines, forfeitures, judg- 
ments or executions then due." 

They had little confidence in the great future of the colo- 
nies. Accodingly the legislature at its next session enacted that 
any person refusing to receive them on an equality with silver 
should pay a heavy penalty. By this act the culprit was deprived 
of trial by jury and was compelled to pay the penalty as once 
without any delay, protection, privilege or injunction. 

Weeden, the defendant mentioned, sold meat to Trevitt, 
and refused to accept some of these bills in payment. 


The latter brought suit and Varnum was employed by de- 
fendant to test the constitutionality of the act aforesaid. 

It is easy to perceive that the issue joined was a very 
mighty one. Every merchant in the state would be ruined if 
compelled to receive this "fiat" money for valuable goods. The 
eyes of the entire community were bent upon the participants in 
this forensic combat, and on the day set for trial an eager throng 
was ready to drink in the words of the leaders in the struggle. 

The sympathies of the Capitalist and Commercial classes 
were naturally with Varnum, while the masses of the people, in 
dire poverty, bereft of a circulating medium by the steady export 
of specie which had taken place after the war, were ready to 
grasp at any straw which seemed to afford a chance of relief. 
Varnum maintained his side of the cause with surpassing elo- 
quence, and the Court in the face of the certain vengeance of the 
legislature representing the people was compelled to pronounce 
the currency act unconstitutional and void. 

The indignant legislature immediately summoned the 
Judges before it to give the reasons for their decision, that body 
having in view their removal from office, but Varnum appeared 
in their behalf and made so logical and eloquent a plea that their 
]>ersecution was dropped, the legislative body adopting a resolu- 
tion that they be discharged since no criminality was proved 
against them. Shortly afterward he was employed in a prize 
case of magnitude entitled "Smith versus Brown," which case he 
won. Still later he was selected to prepare a digest of the laws 
of Rhode Island, and it was agreed that he performed the task 
with signal ability. 

In 1787 Congress adopted its famous ordinance opening 
to settlement the Northwest Territory and laying down rules for 
the government thereof — the most important of which was that 
prohibiting Slavery therein. 

General St. Clair was soon appointed governor and Gen- 
eral Varnum with another, judges of this territory. 



What were the inducements which led him to abandon 
his wife and his elegant home, his lucrative practice in an old 
and refined community to go to a frontier settlement and share 
its hardships and privations does not appear and may well excite 
our curiosity. 

It is surmised, that he had drawn upon himself the ill will 
of the major part of the populace by his course in the Weeden 
case and found life among it uncomfortable. 

It may be the case however that the confidence and friend- 
ship of Washington was instrumental in bringing it about since 
the influence of the latter was so great at that time, and he would 
naturally solicit able men in whom he and Congress had confi- 
dence, for place in the new and promising territory. 

It is true that the field was vast and inviting, the expan- 
sion of the people in numbers and wealth was certain. The field 
for influence and position may have been alluring and doubtless 

But Varnum's health had become somewhat impaired and 
the natural unrest resulting from this condition may also have 
inspired in him a desire for a change. 

The choice was made by Congress, it being prior to the 
adoption of the Constitution, and in the spring of 1788, he de- 
parted from his adopted state where he had won fame and headed 
toward the infant empire on the Ohio. The journey was made 
on horseback with one companion and he arrived at Marietta in 
May, 1788. 

This ambitious village had been laid out on a somewhat 
pretentious scale. It was named for Marie Antoinette and had 
its Campus Martius, Sacra Via Capitoleum, etc, in accordance 
with the pronounced classical tendencies of that time. 

The Campus Martius was a block-house surrounded by 
a wooden stockade such as settlers on our frontiers usually pro- 
vided as a refuge from the savages. 


On the 4th of July succeeding- his arrival, the settlers had 
a grand celebration and Varnum from his well known abilities 
as an orator was invited to deliver the oration. 

It is said that his production was printed and some copies 
of it were in existence as late as 1830.* 

We may fairly surmise that it abounded in magnificent 
predictions of the future of the Republic — that the eagle screamed 

He had signed ten laws prior to December, 1788, when his 
health forbade further attention to business. During the winter 
he steadily grew weaker and contemplated a trip down the river 
to New Orleans and home via Cuba. His strength was not 
equal to the trip and he passed away in the spring of 1789 in his 
forty-first year. 

It is related that high honor was paid to him in the form 
of funeral ceremonies, the pomp shown seeming wonderful for 
so new and crude a settlement. 

His sword, military and civil commissions, diploma in the 
order of Cincinnati, of which he was one of the organizers, and 
the insignia of Masonry, were borne on cushions in advance of 
the body which was followed by citizens, thirty Indian chiefs, 
army and civil officers, Gentlemen of the Cincinnati and Free- 

To recapitulate, General Varnum graduated from college 
at twenty ; was admitted to the bar at twenty-two ; entered the 
army at twenty-seven; resigned his command at thirty-one; mem- 
ber of Congress same year; resumed practice at thirty-three; was 
again in Congress at thirty-seven ; went to the west at thirty-nine 
and died at forty. 

The foundation of his success was laid in extensive read- 
ing, for he was an intense student. 

*Since this paper was read I have learned that the oration of Var- 
num is in print, complete, in "Hildreth's Pioneers of Ohio," a work which 
is in the Lowell City Library G. B. C. 



He read deeply in Yattel and Montesquieu and could re- 
peat much of the latter and could on Occasion recite from memory 
long passages from Shakespeare, Young, Pope and Addison. 

In his arguments and orations, his rhetoric would probably 
be considered somewhat high-flown in these days. 

I quote a few examples from the imperfect reports of his 
efforts to give an idea of his oratory. 

In his opening for the defence in the case of Trevitt ver- 
sus Weeden : "1 do not appear, he said, .May it please the 
Honorable Court on the present occasion, so much in the line of 
my profession as in the character of the citizen interested in the 
Constitutional laws of a free, sovereign and independent state. 

"And indeed wherever the rights of all the citizens appear 
to be essentially connected with a controverted question, conscious 
of the dignity of our profession, we exercise our professional tal- 
ents only as a means conducive to the great end of political 
society and general happiness." 

"Well may a profound silence mark the attention of this 
numerous and respectable assembly." 

"Well may anxiety be displayed in every countenance. Well 
may the dignity of the bench condescend to our own solicitude 
for a most serious and candid attention, seeing that from the first 
settlement of this country until the present moment a question of 
such magnitude as that upon which the judgment of the court is 
now prayed, hath not been judicially agitated." 

The argument that it was unconstitutional to make any 
law depriving the people of the right of trial by jury was said 
to be without exaggeration one of the ablest ever delivered in 
this country. 

He traced it from the feudal times, showed its introduction 
to England by the Saxons and that it was guaranteed to English- 
men by Magna Charta and came over with the emigrants to this 

A passage from this argument reads as follows : 


"The settlers in this country from whom we are descended 
were Englishmen ; they gloried in their rights as such, but being 
persecuted in matters of religion over which no earthly tribunal 
can have control, they bravely determined to quit their native 
soil, to bid a final adieu to the alluring charms of their situation 
and commit their future existence to that Almighty Power whose 
authority they dared not to infringe and in whose protection they 
could safely confide. 

"They tempted the foaming billows, they braved, they con- 
quered the boisterous Atlantic and rested in the howling wilder- 
ness amid the horrid caverns of untamed beasts and more danger- 
ous haunts of savage men. They retained their virtue, their 
religion and their inviolable attachment to the constitutional 
rights of their country." 

I have given sufficient selections to show the rhetorical 
qualities of his eloquence. It was well understood that the 
printed reports of his efforts gave a very inadequate idea of his 
powers of persuasion. 

In personal appearance, a matter of so much moment to 
the public speaker, he was highly favored. 

A writer of those times describes it as follows : 

"On the other hand appeared General Varnum with his 
brick colored coat trimmed with gold lace, knee bands, silk stock- 
ings and boots, with a high and delicate white forehead, with a 
cowlick on the right side, eyes prominent and of a dark hue, his 
complexion rather florid, somewhat corpulent, well proportioned 
and finely framed for strength and agility, large eyebrows, nose 
straight and rather broad, teeth perfectly white, a profuse head 
of hair short on the forehead, turned up some and deeply pow- 
dered and clubbed." 

Political parties as we have them now were but in the 
formative state in his day, the groups of men of varying tem- 
peraments were slowly crystallizing into the permanent organi- 
zations which they attained fifteen years later. 



Had General Varnum lived, we may properly assume that 
he would have joined his fortunes with the Federalists. It is well 
known that his brother Joseph B. was a JefTersonian Republican 

and was chosen to the Senate to succeed Timothy Pickering on 
the wave of a reaction against the Federalists, which was caused 
by the alien and sedition laws and the substantial triumphs of 
Jefferson's administration, even the stronghold of Federalism, 
Massachusetts, faltering for a time. 

But James M. being a friend of Washington, an ardent 
advocate of the ratification of the Constitution, a member of the 
Cincinnati, so much dreaded by the Jeffersonians and so thor- 
oughly Federal in dress and manner, we may as I have stated 
safely assume that his Jot political would have been cast with that 
aggregation, in opposition to his Massachusetts brother. 

He is said to have been devoted to his wife and closes a 
farewell letter which he wrote to her just before his death as 
follows : 

"Give my sincerest love to all those you hold dear. I hope 
to see them and love them more than ever. Adieu, my dearest 
friend. And while I fervently devote in one undivided prayer 
our immortal souls to the care, forgivness, mercy and all-prevail- 
ing grace of Fleaven in time and through eternity, I must bid you 
a long, long Farewell." 

Altogether he was a man of whom his friends and his 
native vicinage need not be ashamed. 

List of Papers read before the Society in 1904. 

"Life of Colonel Marie Louis Armand Ansart De Maris- 
quelles, a French Officer of Distinction in the Revolutionary 
War." By Airs. Sara Swan Griffin. Read May II, 1904. 

"Ferries on the Merrimack and Early Cemeteries." By 
Mrs. Lizzie R. Fox. Read by Mrs. Rowena H. Palmer, May 
II, 1904. 

"A Sketch of the Life of General James M. Varnum." By 
George B. Coburn. Read October 12, 1904. 

"The Geography of Lowell as the Basis of its Historical 
Life." By Miss Emma G. Holt, of Chelmsford. Read Decem- 
ber 14, 1904. 

"Local Ponds and Rivers and their Relation to the Glacial 
Age." By Alfred P. Sawyer, Esq. Read December 14, 1904. 

"Boundary Lines of Old Dunstable and Tyngsboro." Illus- 
trated by an outline map and plans showing boundaries of ancient 
grants. By J. Frank Bancroft, of Tyngsboro. Read December 
14, I904- 

Annual Report of the Executive Committee for 1904-05. 
Prepared and read by Solon \\\ Stevens, President, 

February 8, 1905. 

In accordance with the provisions of the by-laws it be- 
comes the duty of the President of this organization to present 
at this time for your consideration the annual report of the Ex- 
ecutive Committee for the year now reaching its close. 

Several very interesting" papers have been read before the 
Society during the past year upon themes which, although they 
bear a somewhat indirect relation to the City of Lowell and its 
surroundings, confirm the theory that if proper disposition is 
manifested, and adequate time be given to the pursuit there are 
many topics of interest which come legitimately within the range 
of the intention for which this organization is formed, and which 
after due care in the preparation may be presented in such a man- 
ner as to be deemed of importance and worthy of permanent 

A reference to the reports of the Treasurer, the Librarian 
and the Corresponding Secretary will disclose the details of those 
departments of our work. 

On the 14th of April the members of the Lowell Historical 
Society were invited by the Directors of the Lowell Board of 
Trade to attend a lecture on the "Telephone System of today," 
given by Mr. C. H. I. Woodbury of the Engineering department 
of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in Memorial 
Hall. The lecture was very favorably received by a large aud- 
ience, composed of business and professional people and house- 
holders, and proved to be very entertaining and instructive. 

At the regular quarterly meeting of the Society, held at its 
rooms in Memorial Hall on the evening of May 11th, an exceed- 
ingly able paper was given on the "Life of Colonel Louis Amand 
Ansart De Marisquelles, formerly of Dracut, Massachusetts." 
This paper was prepared for this Society at the special request of 
the President and was read by its author, Mrs. Sara Swan Griffin 
of this city. It gave evidence of thorough and scholarly research. 

ANNUAL REPORT, 1904-I905 81 

and by graphic description and felicitous phrase afforded much 
valuable information concerning this unique character who, of 
noble birth in the land of France and as a friend of Lafayette, 
gave distinguished service to the struggle of the American people 
for national independence. There is reason to hope that a copy 
of this valuable paper may be given to be preserved in the vol- 
umes of data which may be published in the future under the 
auspices of this organization. 

At this meeting an interesting paper on ''Ferries on the 
Merrimack and Early Cemeteries," prepared by Airs. Fred Fox 
of Dracut, Massachusetts, was also read, and because of its his- 
torical character we trust it may be preserved for future reference. 

On the evening of October, I2th, at a regular quarterly 
meeting a valuable paper entitled "A sketch of the life and ser- 
vices of General James M. Varnum," was read by Air. George IT 
Coburn. It gave a biographical sketch of a prominent character 
of whom but little is known and for this reason we hope this 
paper may be added to our permanent collections. 

At the regular quarterly meeting of the Society on the 
evening of December 14th, a paper entitled "The Geography of 
Lowell," was read by its author, Miss Emma G. Holt of this city. 
It was suggestive and instructive in its character and on this ac- 
count elicited some very interesting remarks from Flon. Samuel P. 
Hadley, Charles Cowley, Esq., Alfred P. Sawyer, Esq., and Mr. 
J. Frank Bancroft. 

As already intimated these examples suggest what possi- 
bilities may be attained along similar lines of thought, and they 
also point to the importance of rescuing from oblivion hidden 
facts and incidents of life as lived in the early days of Lowell, 
before they shall have slipped from the grasp of memory, or have 
been buried beneath the clouds of indifference and neglect. 

The following is the necrology for the year so far as it is 
known : 

After a lingering illness which lasted nearly two years, 
Mr. Henry Hills Wilder died at his home, 436 Andover Street, 



at the age of eighty years. Mr. Wilder was horn in Leominster, 
Massachusetts, January 16th, 1824. lie came to Lowell in early 
boyhood. After attending school in Lowell one year he was for 
seven years in the employment of Mansur & Childs, dealers in 
hardware. In 1846 he was employed by Air. David Dana in the 
house furnishing business, carrying stoves and ranges, and also 
carrying on the business of plumbing and tin and sheet iron work- 
ing. He succeeded Mr. Dana in this business and after nearly a 
quarter of a century he moved to Central Street, where now are 
the warerooms of Greenwood Brothers. Several years later he 
moved to Market Street, where he established a larger and pros- 
perous business under the firm name and style of 11. If. Wilder 
& Company. Mr. Wilder was a man of prominence in this com- 
munity. He served as President of the Middlesex Mechanics 
Association, was a member of the Lowell Board of Trade, of the 
Middlesex North Agricultural Society, at one time president of 
the board of Trustees of the Lowell Cemetery, and was a director 
in the Appleton National Bank many years. He was greatly 
esteemed as an upright man and an enterprising citizen. Lie was 
active in politics and in all public matters appertaining to the 
welfare of the city in which he lived, and at the time of his decease 
left hosts of friends to hold him in grateful remembrance. 

Hon. James K. Fellows died at his home on Andover 
Street, at the age of ninety-four years and eleven months, on the 
26th of June. Mr. Fellows settled in Lowell in early life and 
was for a long time engaged in the jewelry business on Merri- 
mack Street. Lie was at one time a member of the Common 
Council and was also a member of the Constitutional Convention 
in 1853. Mr. Fellows had travelled extensively both in this coun- 
try and in Europe. He was the author of a little book called 
"Letters to the Press for the Home Circle," which contains arti- 
cles of local and personal interest. It is said that on his return 
from Liverpool in 1848, he experienced a fearful ordeal of ship- 
wreck by fire off the coast of Wales, wherein nearly two hundred 
lives were lost, and that his account of this disaster written and 

ANNUAL REPORT, I904-I905 83 

published many years ago is one of the most graphic descriptions 
of a horrible scene which it would be possible to find. 

But Air. Fellows will be best remembered as the donor of 
the site for the Lowell General Hospital. For this generous gift 
he will long be held in memory with affection and esteem. 

Air. Fellows was a man of the strict old-fashioned type of 
integrity, simple in his tastes, quiet in manner, abstemious in hab- 
its, and unimpeachable in rectitude of conduct. He will long 
be remembered as an upright citizen and a public benefactor. 

One of the most favorably known, sincerely loved charac- 
ters in the private and social life of our city, passed away in the 
person of Airs. Sarah Wilbur Francis who died on the 30th of 
November at her home on Alansur Street. Airs. Francis was 
the daughter of the late George and Lydia Brownell. She was 
born on February 12th, 1817, came to Lowell in 1824, and was 
married to the late James B. Francis in 1837. She was a woman 
of rare mental endowments, keen susceptibility, and generous im- 
pulses. We often speak of such and such a man as "a gentle- 
man of the old-school," meaning thereby that there were certain 
winning characteristics in the demeanor of such a person not so 
distinctly noticeable in the carriage and deportment of many peo- 
ple now-a-days, which immediately commanded our respect and 
won universal sympathy. With propriety and in truth we may 
speak of Airs. Francis as a lady of the "old-school." In her home, 
her church, among a legion of friends, and throughout the city 
she will be remembered as a gentle lady, a grand woman by whom 
the Christian virtues were exemplified during a long and useful 

Thus during the past year the Angel of Death has smitten 
three of our oldest members. For them the cares of life are over, 
and the work of life is done. Henceforth their names to the 
hearts of loving ones will be simply talismans for the prompting 
of dreams. For us may whatsoever was lovely in their lives be 
an incentive to faithful, persistent toil until we can no longer 
dream ! 

Mrs. Sarah W. Francis. By Miss Mabel Hill. Read Feb- 
ruary 8, 1905. 

Of God's various and manifold gifts that of the long life, 
rich with experience, sweetened by friendships, active with good 
deeds, holy with faith, is the one gift above all else for which 
youth reaches out. 

To have been born in the early half of the last century and 
to have shared in the years of three generations of famoirs men 
and stirring events; to have been still eager in interests at the 
dawn of a new generation, presents itself as the highest privilege. 
And such was the gift of life given to Mrs. James B. Francis. 

The passing of such a woman touches the springs of many 
recollections. The tribute of grief paid to her in the hearts of 
intimate friends and family belongs to sympathetic privacy ; yet 
the character of such a woman belongs also in part to our munici- 
pal life, and therefore the Lowell Historical Society would incor- 
porate into its records certain memories of one whose masterful 
yet womanly nature has gone far to make society stronger and 
sweeter because she felt its needs and responded to its demands. 

Sarah Wilbur Brownell was born in Thompson, Connecti- 
cut, February 12, 1817. ITer father, George Brownell, a machin- 
ist of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, had married Lydia Sweet, a 
woman of rare character, a Quakeress, and the type of Quaker 
woman, who, though retiring and gentle in domestic relations 
was most forceful in purpose when the emergency arose. 

Mr. and Mrs. Brownell's early home in Thompson, Con- 
necticut, was like all New England homes in those early years, 
simple, wholesome, earnest. The coming of little children brought 
duties that are inevitable under such conditions. Sarah was the 
oldest child and her earliest remembrance was the care of young- 
er brothers and sisters, the mother having become an invalid when 
Sarah was but a mere girl. Early in the twenties Mr. L>rownell 
joined the men in Waltham, Massachusetts, who were interested 
in furthering American manufactures, and when the initial steps 
were taken to form companies which were to found ,the town and 


city of Lowell, Mr. Brownell became identified with Mr. Whistler 
at the Lowell Machine Shop where later he became its superin- 

In 1824 the Brownells removed from Waltham to Lowell, 
living at the outset on the Swamp Locks, but shortly after they 
removed to a large, double house on Dutton Street where other 
children were born, and where Sarah, as the years came and went, 
grew from childhood into young womanhood. It was from here 
that she was sent to the St. Ursaline Convent in Charlestown, 
going back and forth by boat over the old Middlesex Canal. She 
was sent away from home that her education might be broader 
than the opportunity permitted in the little mill district. She 
must have been in her school life as she was in the. home, a gen- 
eral favorite ; one who led rather than followed in thought and 
action. A tragic ending as all remember who lived at the time 
came to the convent in the shape of a great lire, which threatened 
the lives of its inmates. In the records of an old book in our 
public library, we find the name of Sarah Wilbur Brownell, 
amongst the pupils of the school. 

After Mr. Brownell became superintendent of the Lowell 
Machine Shop, the Whistler house on Worthen Street became the 
family residence. In her latter days Mrs. Francis loved to recall 
her father's home. Behind the house was a lovely garden, and 
behind the garden there still remained the woods where a few 
Indians lived in their wigwams and cabins. This remnant of the 
"Praying Indians," carried on a kind of trade with the white set- 
tlers, now so fast crowding into the newly laid out township. In 
front of the house, where Dutton and Worthen Street now run, 
all was an open "common," with a pond of water and groups of 
thickly growing trees upon the shore. Sarah Brownell could 
watch the squirrels, rabbits and feathered friends as they flitted 
about this unclaimed land. And here at the old Whistler house 
came the "beaux" of the town to be welcomed at, the Brownell 
household, whose hospitality meant entrance into the best society. 



From this house Mr. Brownell's three oldest daughters were mar- 
ried, Sarah, Elizabeth and Lydia, eaeh a belle in her girlhood and 
each a noble woman in the new home to which she was taken. 
The wooing of Sarah Brownell was characteristic of lover and 
sweetheart. There had come to the city a young Englishman, an 
expert engineer, a man of indomitable will power, broad mentality 
and eager spirit. He was living at the Messenger House, which 
the bachelor engineers and machinists found a most attractive 
boarding house in those old days. Other men were in the field 
trying to win Sarah Brownell; indeed, to every man she was 
beautiful and bright and withal domestic. Who was there who 
would not win her if he could ! The young Englishman was 
James Bicheno Francis. He watched the other suitors; he waited. 
The hour came when events looked propitious. ' It is a pretty 
story, but it belongs to sacred home annals. It is enough for us 
to know he won her heart. From their marriage day, the twelfth 
of July, 1837, began a union that was an example and an ideal 
to their friends, so sweet and loyal was it in happy comradeship 
and the fulfilment of broad interests. 

At the outset, Mr. and Mrs. Francis boarded with Mrs. 
Edward Tufts on the "Acre" : how far away such a possibility 
looks to us who today know the "Acre" in its unattractive per- 
sonality. But in less than a year the young couple began house- 
keeping on Button Street in the very same house where as a girl 
Sarah had lived. All landmarks of this house have long since 
been destroyed, but it was a charming establishment in those days. 
It too, had its beautiful garden. Somehow gardens belonged to 
the Francis' and the Brownells'. In the abundance of their na- 
ture they rejoiced in outdoor beauty in the same degree that they 
offered hospitality within the home. Here in Button Street were 
born George E., James, Charles and Elizabeth. 

The early years for the young mother were in the nature 
of things busy ones, and for the father, they were full of earnest 
achievements. Mr. Francis was already becoming a 1 force in public 


affairs, and as an expert engineer, he was not only consulted in 
his own city but was sent for wherever his advice might sway 
opinions in projects of engineering. 

In 1845 tne Brownells moved to Lawrence Street. Then 
it was that Mr. Francis, having succeeded Whistler in his posi- 
tion, became agent for the Locks and Canals Company, and moved 
to the Whistler house on Worthen Street, the selfsame house 
where he had found his wife and where she in turn had enjoyed 
the pleasures of her early girlhood. Here Mr. Francis not only 
developed the Brownell flower-garden which became a fairy land 
of flowers to the children and neighbors, but he planted an orchard 
of fruit trees, making a specialty of pears. Such a detail may 
seem insignificant, but, in those early days, the painstaking culti- 
vation of flowers and fruit, was a mark of culture 'and refinement. 
Moreover, whatever Mr. Francis did in his vocation or avocation, 
he did successfully because with intelligence and purpose. So, 
too, with Mrs. Francis, in her companionship with her husband, 
she not only shared in the larger interests, but took personal de- 
light in every simple act which brought pleasure to the family. 

In this new and happy home three more children were 
born. There was a little boy, Richard, who stayed but a day 
with his sorrowing mother. Then was born Joseph Sidney, whose 
youth was most promising but who died at twenty. Lastly came 
Lydia, ever called Lily, the darling of the home. Her beautiful 
and heroic invalidism from the time she was twelve until her 
death at twenty-six, wrought, in spite of the fearful suffering, a 
peculiar intimate family bond ; and a devotion of mother and child 
most beautiful to know. Those who remember the exquisite face 
of Lily Francis, as she lay on her swinging bed in the great sunny 
room of their home on Andover Street, where the family moved 
in 1870, can vividly recall the spiritual expression which sugges- 
ted the beauty of a soul in a frail casket, which had developed 
patience and gentleness together with keen interest in others and 
faith that all was for the best. Around this bedside, friends came 



and went. Lily's own young friends, and her father's and 
mother's friends; and each one carried away with him the inspi- 
ration of Lily's brave self. The death of Joseph, their promising 
son ; and Lily, the frail daughter, brought the two greatest sor- 
rows of Mr. and Mrs. Francis' married life. But for the most 
part the years as they came and went were full of gladness, cheer. 
and hospitality. As the children grew older, Mr. and Mrs. Fran- 
cis identified themselves intimately with society; hospitality ever 
abounding. Those were the days when everybody entertained, 
most of all, the Francis'! Those were the days when society 
turned out to festivals, fairs, bazaars and charity balls; and in- 
variably, one found among the list of patronesses the name of 
Mrs. James I>. Francis. Indeed she was always Lady Bountiful. 
Her Quaker ancestry indicated itself in the simplicity of her dress, 
her love of quiet color, and her gentleness of mien ; but her per- 
sonality and character were so impressive that in a room full of 
guests decked in the gayest fashion, Mrs. Francis stood out the 
most marked woman of the occasion. When the great grief of 
Mrs. Francis' life came upon her, when her noble husband, James 
13. Francis, laid down his work and went hence, the world who 
did not know Mrs. Francis most intimately, and yet who appre- 
ciated the close union between husband and wife, prophesied that 
she too would soon break with life. But those who did know- 
Mrs. Francis best, knew her tenacious temperament, and felt that 
she would re-assert herself in spite of loneliness. So it was char- 
acteristic of her to leave the great mansion house which might 
still have been her home, and to build a new house, whose very 
outlines indicated her nature. This home on Mansur Street has 
been a Mecca to young and old, rich and poor alike. In the dig- 
nity of her great age Mrs. Francis presided over her establishment 
with rare power. Musicales, dramatics, card parties, dinner par- 
ties, quiet afternoons with intimate friends, or out of town 
guests — there was ever one thing or another of active interest in 
this home. But the most happy occasion of eacli year was the 


twelfth of February, Mrs. Francis's birthday, when all the mem- 
bers of the early household, with their children and grandchild- 
ren gathered together from afar to make the anniversary a re- 
union of family ties. Upon Mrs. Francis's eightieth birthday, so 
great was her age and so much was she a part of Lowell society, 
her friends as well as her family felt at liberty to show her their 
quiet regard, and the parlors were filled with gifts of (lowers. 
Indeed, for the past seven years those who could call upon her in 
the afternoon and evening of the birthday anniversary always 
found her radiantly happy among her roses and lilies and all 
manner of blossoming things. 

Young men went to Mrs. Francis for advice, older men for 
recreation. It will be a pleasant remembrance to those who have 
devoted one evening in the week to her card table, or an afternoon 
at chess, and the remembrance of their hostess' ability to play a 
good game will be augmented by the memory of many a clever 
story and her brilliant repartee. In the same manner in which 
Mrs. Francis gave of herself socially, so she gave of her purse 
lavishly to charities, to churches and to individuals. But these 
gifts were for the most part given in so quiet a manner that they 
have gone unrecorded; only the Spirit of them can be quoted by 
us. In fact, but two memorials represent Mrs. Francis in spite 
of her generous bequests all over the city. It is very appropriate 
that these two memorials should have been placed at St. Anne's 
church, where she and her family have been identified throughout 
the years of the church's existence. When the choir was added 
to St. Anne's church, in 1884, Mrs. Francis placed in the altar, as 
a memorial to her children, Joseph Sidney and Lydia, the beauti- 
ful Caen stone altar and credence table. Again when in 1892 
Mr. Francis died, this same altar and credence table were re- 
moved from the church and re-erected in the chapel at Mrs. Fran- 
cis' expense. This change was made in order to erect in memory 
of her husband, Mr. James B. Francis, the beautiful memorial, 
which now stands in the chancel of the church. This new altar 



with prevedos, credence table and mosaic sanctuary stone-floor, 
with altar-rail, is most complete and very beautiful. The work 
upon the Caen stone, marble and onyx was prepared in Italy and 
then put together in this country. Noble as these two memorials 
are, they cannot express in any adequate form, the gift of herself 
which she made at the altar on Communion-Sundays. Broad and 
beautiful Christian gentle-woman that she was, she added to her 
character the virtues of a devout churchman. 

The death of Mrs. Francis was in keeping with her life; 
well and happy to the last, reveling in the spirit of Thanksgiving 
day, the shock of paralysis, when it came to her was immediate. 
She fell asleep with but the few words, "It is all right." Her 
courage had never forsaken her ; it could not in the end. The 
tributes, which appeared in the paper after her death on Novem- 
ber 30th, 1904, were written by close and beloved friends, men 
and women who knew her intimately. It seems only appropriate 
to add these words of appreciation to those records. It is, there- 
fore, in deep regard that we submit this present record to the 
Lowell Historical Society. 

Rev. John Fiske, the First Pastor of the Chelmsford 

Church. By Henry S. Per ham. Read March 8, 


The minister in early colonial times was a very important 
personage. He was the educated man of the community and for 
his learning alone he would have commanded respect. He was 
not only their spiritual guide, but also to a great extent their tem- 
poral advisor. 

In cases of trouble and affliction ; in disagreements arising 
between neighbors; or in difficulties of any kind, the minister was 
called upon for help, and his verdict was usually accepted. If he 
was a man of ability, high character, and strong common sense, 
his influence in promoting the welfare of a new community was 
very great. In the case of Mr. Fiske, he was also a physician and 
his services in that capacity much called for. 

The founders of Chelmsford were, for the most part, men 
and women who were born in England and emigrated to this 
country previous to 1640, to escape from religious persecution. 
Such men must needs be possessed of strong character and deep 
religious convictions. It was their sincere desire to build up the 
Kingdom of God in this wilderness. But underlying their re- 
ligious zeal was a strong practical common sense. We may there- 
fore readily believe that their prime motive in coming to Chelms- 
ford was to better their condition and enable themselves to provide 
a more comfortable support for their families. 

With such people their first care was to secure a minister 
and establish a Church. Accordingly, even before the incorpo- 
ration of the town while there were but a dozen to twenty families 
in the place which was yet a wilderness, we find them looking 
about for a minister. 

Letters were sent over to Wenham where Rev. John Fiske 
had gathered a little church fourteen years before. The letters 
must of course have been carried by one of their number, prob- 
ably on horseback over the forest paths. 



Chelmsford's proposition was unique in that they were at- 
tempting not only to secure a minister, but to have him bring his 
church with him also. Such negotiations required delicate hand- 
ling and it was some time hefore all parties were satisfied. Finally 
the matter was submitted to a council composed of some of the 
most eminent men of the colony, who decided in favor of Chelms- 
ford. But the various steps to bring this about are best related 
in the language of Mr. Fiske himself just as it stands in his hand- 
writing today. 

"Vpon 4 of 7th 1654 was dated a L r vnder the hands of 
Rob 4 Fletcher, Tho : Adams, W 111 Fletcher, W m Buttereck in the 
na of the rest, engaged in the N. plantation at Chelmsford, vvhrin 
the pasto with the rest of this church at Wenham were Invited 

This L r being eftsoones conveyed to vs by the hands of 
Isa: Fernet & Tho : Adams, was coicated to the church & a 
Liberty by the Majo 1 ' pte graunted so far to attend the pvidence : 
as to pmit the pastor to Goe oner & see the place 

accordingly a day was set of meeting at Chelmsford & 
thrupo the messengers returned 

VpOri the sd. day set divrs of the Brethren accompanyed 
the pasto over vnto Chelms. where the comittee & divers others 
were p'snt a view was taken of the place. The Brethren p'sent 
satisfyed themselves aboute there accommodations, & pposalls were 
then made to the pasto for his accommodation & yeerly maynte- 
nance, as to be tendred vnto him by consent of the whole numb 
of Inhabitants & in their na by the committee 

These pposals were pmised, with their furthr request to be 
taken into consideratio, & in so short seaso after the Returne an 
Answer & resolution to be sent by Br. Spalding, as at his coming 

After this Returne of the pastor & Brethren upon the 10th 
of 8 mo 54 the resolution & engagm 4 of divers of the Brethren was 
in the face of the whole church, at a church meeting concluded 
upo whras 5 absolutely engaged, 2 conditionally & in word only, 


refusing at p r sent to subscribe their hands. Yet after sent their 
Engagem ts psonally by Bro: Spalding, so as the greater number 
of the Church now stood engagd, in case the pasto r engaged also 

Vpon 6* of 9 mo the pasto sent his Engagm tfi by Bro: Spald- 
ing & his Resolution as Respecting the engag* of so man)' Breth- 
ren as s d . 

Thus the matter Lay dormant as twere all winter till the 

I st m°. 55- 

at what time Bro: Read coming oner en formed us in Mich 
wise here at Wenha, as thrvpo both the P. & the sd engaged 
Brethren demurred upo the pceedings & some th* had sold heere 
at Wenha, redeemed their accomodations agayne into their pos- 

& a L r was sutably sent by Br. Read to acquainte the 
Chelmesf. Comittee how things stood, & advised to stead them- 
selves elswhere. 

Betwene this time & the 6* of 4* mo 55, things hung un- 
certayne & uncleered, notwithstanding some L rs passed & some 
agitatio at Wenha betwene Isa: Lernet agent fr Chelmsfd & 
Wenha Brethren. But as upo 6* of 4 th aforesd was dated a L 1 ' 
& sent by the hands of Isa: Lernet, Sim: Thompso & Tho: Ad- 
ams, with full power to them to treate & finally to determine ths 
busines depending betwene both pties. 

Vpon there coming over to Wenham. The Matter was 
determined betwene them & the sd pasto 1 " touching the Building 
of the house Terms of Accommodation & of yeerly mayntenance, 
as under there hands affixed to the L rs was sent before dated in 
first month tenth day, likewise it was concluded betwene them & 
the Brethren at Wenham to refer the matter to Counsell ; & the 
pties agreed upon were, M r Endicot Govrno 1 ', M r Mather, M r 
Allin of Dedha, M r Cobbet, M r Sherma, Capt. Johnso of Woo- 
buerne who determined the case for Chelmsford. 

This case thus determined : on either side p r pation was 
made for the Removal of the Church. 



Accordingly about the 13 th of 9 mo 55, there were met at 
Chelmsfd. the pasto with the engaged Brethren of Wenham 

church viz. Ezdras Read, Edw. Kemp, Austin Killam, Sa : Fos- 
tor ; Geo: Byam & Rich. Goldsmith, seuen in all To whom such 
of the Brethren of Wooburne & Concord ch : who had before 
ppounded themselves to joyne with the ch : late at Wenham, Now 
in Remoyeing to Chelmsford, & p r sented themselues, with there 
L rs of Dismission: upon satisfaction & Testimony Giuen were by 
an vnanimous vote Received into fellowship They being the 
greater numb, in way of mutual complyance, a Relatio passd on 
either side, as each one voluntarily would : 

Membs. sig (1 
Viz. Isaack Lernett (he dyed 8. of 10. 57. 1 

Simon Thompson (he dyed about 3q rs of a y. 2 

after at Ooburne 

Wm. Vnderwood 3 

Abram Parker 4 

Benja: Butterfeild 5 

Tho: Chamberlin 6 

Next received 

Dan. Blogged who brought l rs of dismission from 

the Ch : at Cambridge 7 

So after this the seales of the supp administred & there 
were admitted by vote these Members of other churches, to coion 
with us in these seales. 

M r Griffin 

W m . fletcher & his wife 

Tho : Adams & his wife 

Br. Vnd'woods wife 

(Edw. Spalding) 

Bro: Butterfeilds wife 

Bro: Chamberlins wife 

Edm: Chamberlins wife , 

Abram Parkers wife 


Jos. Parkers wife 

Isa: Lernets wife 

Sim: Thompsons wife 

Since Rec'd into fellowship was Jacob Parker" 

Of this council which decided this grave question, of the 
removal of Mr. Fiske and his church to Chelmsford, the man at 
its head was that stern puritan, Governor John Endicott. The 
second was Rev. Richard Mather, the father of Increase and the 
grandfather of Cotton Mather. The third was Rev. John Cobbet 
of Lynn. The fourth was Rev. John Sherman of Watertown, of 
that famous family which produced that great soldier General 
W. T. Sherman and the equally distinguished statesman Senator 
John Sherman, of Ohio. The fifth was Rev. John Alii n of Ded- 
ham, who had come from England in the same s"hip with Mr. 
Fiske in 1637. The last was Captain Edward Johnson, one of 
the founders of Woburn, and the author of that rare work, "The 
Wonder Working Providence of Zion's Savior in New England." 

At the first town meeting held, The : 22 d : the : 9 th : month : 
1654, the following provision was voted for Mr. Fiske's support: 

"We give to Air. Fisk Thirty acres of Meadow and thirty 
Acres of Plowable Land for the acomidation of him for his most 
Conveniancy : And we do Agree and Order that he shall have a 
Hous built for him Thirty-eight foot in Length & Twenty foot 
in bredth with three fire Rooms, the Chimneys built with Brick or 
stone: And we promise to pay to Mr. Fisk Fifty Pounds for the 
first year: And we promise to pay his Maintinence as the Lord 
shall enable us for the future." 

The Wenham conpany was a great accession to the little 
settlement, particularly their minister, Rev. John Fiske. 

The influence of the clergy was so great in those times 
that the welfare of the community depended very much upon the 
good sense, energy, and character of their spiritual advisors. This 
town was especially fortunate in that respect. The first four 
pastorates, those of Fiske, Clark, Stoddard, and Bridge, embraced 




a period of 137 years. No stronger evidence could be given of 
the good sense of these men and their strong hold upon the affec- 
tions of their people than to say that during all this period when 
religious controversies were so common, many churches being 
split in twain over what seem to us trivial doctrinal questions, no 
church council was ever called to settle any differences, in this 
town, between pastor and people. Differences, to be sure, they 
had, but they were all settled amicably between themselves, and 
each of the four first ministers remained and served the church 
and community until death severed the connection. 

Rev. John Fiske came to this country from England in 
1637, bringing a letter of introduction from Robert Ryece to Gov. 
John Winthrop which read as follows : 

"To the woorshipfull his moste respected good ffrinde Mr. 
John Wrinthrope esqr. at his house at Boston in New England 
give these." 

"Sir, — This bearer, Mr. Fyske, being one every wave so 
pious & religious, needes not my comendations of hym, but the 
malignitie of the tymes, removinge hym with sondry others of 
his profession into your partes, bathe required this shorte wry- 
tinge of mee, in his behalfe, that what employment you can pro- 
cure hym I may be thankefull vnto you for it. flee is a graduate, 
& havinge preached mooche, seinge the danger of the tymes, he 
changed his profession of divinitie into phisicke, wherien he hath 
now laste warde employed hym selfe. He is a good schollar & 
an honeste man. I pray pardon my abrupte & sooddeyne writ- 
inge. I can stay no longer, but after the true remembrance of 
my best respecte vnto you, I take my leave this 19 of Apryll, 1637, 
and do remayne, 

Yours euery wayes mooche bownde 

This letter was endorsed on the back by Governor Win- 
throp, "Mr. Ryece per Mr. Fiske." , 

* Coll. Mass. Historical Society, First Series Vol. VI. 


Mr. Fiske was not only beloved by the people among 
whom he labored but he was held in high esteem by his contem- 
poraries as appears from a biographical account of him by Cotton 
Mather from which the following is taken (Magnalia Vol. I 

P 43o) : 

"Mr. John Fisk«was born in the parish of St. James, in the 
county of Suffolk, about the year 1601, of pious and worthy 
parents, yea, of grand-parents, and great grand-parents, eminent 
for zeal in the true religion. There were six brothers in the 
infamous reign of Queen Mary, whereof three were Papists, and 
three were Protestants, I may say, Puritans; and of the latter 
(whereof none were owned by the former) two were sorely per- 
secuted. For one of these brethren, the pursevant, having a kind- 
ness, gave him a private and previous notice of his Coming with 
an order to seize him ; whereupon the good man first called his 
family to prayer, hastned away to hide himself in a ditch, with 
his Godly wife, which had a sucking child at her breast. The 
pursevant being near at hand, a thorn in the hedge gave such a 
mark to the child's face, as never went out ; whereat the child 
beginning to roar, the mother presently clapt it to the breast, 
whereby it was quieted at once, and there was no discovery then, 
or after, made of these confessors. Another of these brethren, 
from whom our Fisk was descended, was then (to avoid burning) 
hid many months in a wood-pile; and afterwards, for half a year 
in a cellar, where he diligently employed himself in profitable 
manufactures, by candle light, after such a manner as to remain 
likewise undiscovered ; but his many hardships brought that ex- 
cessive bleeding upon him, that shortened his days, and added 
unto the cry of the souls under the altar. 

"Our John was the eldest of four children, all of whom 
afterwards came to New England with him, and left a posterity, 
with whom God established his holy covenant. I lis parents hav- 
ing devoted him unto the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, they 
sent him first unto a grammar school, two miles fronS the place of 



their abode, whither his diligent soul was instead of wings, every 
day to carry him. 

"His education at the school, having fitted him for the uni- 
versity, he went unto Cambridge, where he was admitted, into 
(as I think) Immanuel College, in which he resided, until he be- 
came a graduate. Some time after this, being both by art and 
by heart, well prepared for it, he applied himself unto the work- 
to which he had been devoted ; namely, the preaching of the gos- 
pel ; but the silencers grew so hard upon him for his non-con- 
formity, that upon the advice of his friends, he set himself to 
study physick, and upon a thorough examination, he obtained a 
license for public practice. When he was about eight and twenty 
years of age, he married a vertuous young gentlewoman, Anne 
Gipps, several hundreds of pounds of whose patrimony were de- 
nied her upon the displeasure of her father, at her coming to 

"But upon the death of his father, who had committed unto 
him the care of his mother and two sisters, and his youngest bro- 
ther, he thought it his duty to remove into New-England, where 
he saw an opportunity of returning unto the quiet exercise of 
his ministry. He, and that excellent man Mr. John Allin, came 
aboard in disguise, to avoid the fury of their persecutors; but 
after they were past the Lands-End, they entertained the passen- 
gers with two sermons every day, besides other agreeable devo- 
tions, which filled the voyage with so much of religion, that one 
of the passengers being examined about his going to divert him- 
self with a hook and line, on the Lords-day, he protested, that he 
did not know when the Lord's-day was ; he thought every day 
was a sabbath day; for, he said, they did nothing but pray and 
preach all the week long." 

"Mr. Fiske arrived at New England in the year 1637 * 
* * His aged mother died quickly after he came aboard, and 
his only infant quickly after he came ashore. * , ' * * He came 
well stocked with servants, and all sorts of tools for husbandry 


and carpentry, and with provisions to support his family in a wil- 
derness for three years together; out of which, he charitably lent 
a considerable quantity to the country, which he then found in the 
distress of a war with the Pequot-Indians. lie now sojourned 
about three years at Salem where he was both a preacher to the 
church and a tutor unto divers young scholars (whereof the well- 
known Sir George Downing was one ) as he was afterwards unto 
his own children, when the want of grammar-schools at hand 
made it necessary. From thence he removed unto a place ad- 
joining thereunto, which is now called Wenham ; where on Oc- 
tober 8, 1644, a church was gathered, of which he continued the 
pastor, in that place, for more than twice seven years ; contented 
with a very mean salary, and consuming his own fair estate for 
the welfare of the new plantation." 

''About the year 1656, he removed with the major part of 
his church to another new town, called Chelmsford ; and there he 
spent the remainder of his days." 

"Twenty years did he shine in the golden candlestick of 
Chelmsford ; a plain but an able painful, and useful preacher of 
the gospel; rarely if ever, by sickness hindered from the exercise 
of his ministry, * * * * Thus our Mr. Fisk, now superse- 
ded his care and skill of dispensing medicines for the body, by 
doing it for the soul." 

"But although he did in his ministry, go through an expo- 
sition of almost all the scriptures in both Testaments, and unto his 
Lord's day sermons, added a monthly lecture on the week day, 
besides his discourses at the private meetings of the faithful, and 
his exact and faithful cares to keep up church discipline yet none 
of his labours were more considerable than his catechetical * * 
* * * Q ur pj s k therefore did by most laborious catechising, 
endeavor to know the state of his flock, and make it good ; and 
hence, although he did himself compose and publish a most useful 
catechism which he entitled, The Olive Plant Watered ; yet he 
chose the assembly's catechism for his public expositions 




1638 John, 

1640 Sarah, 
1642 Moses, 

1644 Anna, 



wherewith he twice went over it, in discourses before his after- 
noon sermons on the sabbath." 

Mr. Fisk had six children. The first was born in England 
and, as Mather mentioned, died soon after reaching this country. 
The births of the others, as recorded by himself in his note book, 
or church record, were as follows : 

"The children of John & Anna Fiske Born in X. E. 
f borne the 29 th of 6 t 

{ bapt the 2 d of 7. Salem M 1 " Pet r s (Peters) 

Escaped a g r te danger at wenha in passing with 
the streame vnd r the mill wheele, when the mill 
was a goeing. An 1647, & oi 3 d at what time he 
recei d (as twere) a new life. Not a bone broke &c. 
bapt. 26* of 5 ] 

borne 24 of 5* J Salem M r pet 

borne 12 of 2 d at Wenha 
bapt. o of 4* at Salem by M r Norice 
borne 15* of 11 th 
baptised 2 of I st (the 1 st child bapt. at 

1646 Eli-ezer, borne 8 1 of 12 th ^ 

, - I Wenham 

bapt. 15 of 12 J 

he Deceased 16 of 10, 49.) 

The sd Anne Fiske wife to the sd Jn° ffiske haue- 

ing lined with him about 37. yeers, deceased 14. of 

12 th mo at Chelmsford. 

Elizabeth Hinksma (widow of Edmund) marryed 

to the sd Jn° ffiske 1 of 6 mo at Chelmsford. * *" 

Mr. Fiske kept a record from the year 1637 to 1675, about 

eighteen months before his death. It relates almost wholly to 

church matters. Mr. Allen, in writing his history of Chelmsford, 

evidently did not have access to this valuable record, as he does 

not mention it or make use of the information it contained. It 

evidently strayed away from Chelmsford early, perhaps through 

Mr. Fiske's youngest son, Rev. Moses Fiske, of Braintree, who 

1 Wenh; 




was executor of his father's will and inherited the property after 
the death of his elder brother John, without issue. Moses Fiske 
had a son Samuel living in Salem, and it was there that the late 
David Pulsifer of Boston unearthed this old record book. He 
made a copy for the late Rev. Dr. Dexter of the Congregation- 
alism which is in the Yale University Library. After the sale of 
Air. Pulsifer's effects this Record book came into the possession 
of Dr. Samuel A. Green of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 
Dr. Green has copied such part of this record as is deemed to be 
of historical interest, and published it in 1898 under the title 
"Extracts from the note book of The Rev. John Fiske, 1637-1675. 
With an Introduction by Samuel A. Green." 

The quotations, with one or two exceptions,, that I have 
used are from the published extracts. There are but few who 
would be able to read the original, as Dr. Green says in his Intro- 
duction, "The handwriting is very hard to read, and contains 
many abbreviations and nondescript characters which it is impos- 
sible to represent in type." 

The town made generous gifts of land to Mr. Fiske and 
his son John, who reached his majority soon after coming to 
Chelmsford, granting much more than that promised in 1654. 

The town also set apart a tract of land called the ministry 
land, for the benefit of the church and minister. This was the 
land now known as the Bussell place upon which Rev. Hezekiah 
Packard built, during his ministry, the fine old colonial house now 

The following is the record of this grant as appears in the 
second book of records, page 25 and page 34 of the copy made 
in 1892. 

"The 31 of May, 1679, by the Townes Gifte and order was 
laid out to the Ministry and for that only vse for euer in Chelms- 
ford to say thirtey Acers of vpland and swampe bee it more or les 
and is bownded East by the high way to the training Feild south 
vp on a great Rock North by the land of mr. Conelias Walldow. 



With a straite line to a stake with a heape of stones aboute it 
which is a westerly Corner of John Gates his land and so of a 
Straite line to a pine neare stoney brooke path North west boun- 
ded vpon the towne Common vpland to a black oake and From 
thence [ ] straite line to a Red oake Neare the land that was 

ginen by the towne to nir. Fiske and his sonne John Fiske and 
From thence to a great Rock southerly all waies prouided ther 
bee a sofitient Carte way left beetwine the land of the Aboue sayd 
Fiske and the fore mentioned land: which way is to bee Foure 
polles in bredth in wittnes heare vnto wee the Commity Aponted 
to Actte hear in haue seett to our hands the day and yeare aboue 



This aboue is a trew Record and Approued by the selectt 
men as wittnes my hand, 

23 June, 1679 Gierke" 

The cart way mentioned in this description was what was 
known as "The Lane" until, by vote of the town it was named 
Bridge Street in memory of Rev. Ebenezer Bridge, pastor of the 
church (1741-1792). 

In the description of Mr. Fiske's land opposite the minis- 
try the "Pound" is mentioned. This was a small enclosure sur- 
rounded by a high stone wall. The wall was removed and the 
land taken into the highway some ten years ago when Bridge 
Street was widened and improved. Mr. Fiske's land extended 
down to the cemetery. 

Formerly there were several families of colored people liv- 
ing on the Lane. Peter Fields and his little one story cottage, 
where Mr. Daniel Haley's house stands, are still remembered by 
the older people. 


The town records contain no vote relative to the building 
of the first meeting house. So that no description of the building 
has come down to us or any statement of the time when it was 

Mr. Allen* says "The third public meeting was dated month 
11, day 16, 1655 and, agreeable to a former vote, holden at the 
meeting house." 

"How and by whom the first meeting house was built" he 
says "are facts yet to be ascertained. There appears to be a tra- 
ditionf that Samuel and Thomas Adams were at the principal 
expense of erecting this house. But the town records contain no 
information relative to it. It stood at the south west corner of 
the present house. It was built in the year preceding the erec- 
tion of Mr. Adams' saw-mill, 1656 and in all probability was made 
of logs, hewed and locked together." 

I do not agree with Allen's conclusions upon either of the 
three points just mentioned. 

The vote of March 1, 1655, that future town meetings 
should be held at the meeting house plainly indicates an intention 
to have a meeting house, but there is reason to believe that their 
hopes were not realized that year. 

In the record of the third town meeting, to which Allen 
refers, the place of meeting is not mentioned. 

The best evidence obtainable would indicate that the meet- 
ing house was not built for several years, probably in 1659 or 
1660. The first mention of the meeting house in Mr. Fiske's 
record is, incidentally, in specifying the duties of church officers 
when Thos. Henchman and Henry Farwell were chosen deacons, 
at a church meeting "16 of 9 [16] 60 * * * * * So. Br. 
Hinksma was to keep the box, booke & acconts of constitutio, Br. 

*Mr. Allen's History, page 12. 

fThis is intimated in a letter from the late President Adams of 
Quincy to Wm. Adams, requesting to know who built the first meeting 
house and mills. 



Kemp to pvide the bread & the wine, & Bro. Farwl. to take the 
charge of the linen & pewter &c." 

"this day Br. Abr. parkr. was chosen in Br. Nuttings 
place, to take care of the clensing the meeting house that it be 
kept in a desent posture & of the hower (hour) glasse, Cushion 
&c. For a yeere," (In margin) "He refusing attend Br. Bia 
[Geo. Byam] was chosen & accepted." This would indicate- 

that they now had a meeting house and proposed to have it de- 
cently cared for. 

The only light which the town records shed upon this 
question is in the action taken to provide for the payment for the 

From the large sums, over £264, from 1659 to 1663 raised 
for that purpose, not including the sum of £46-8, raised to pay 
Samuel Adams, in 1659, the tradition that one or two individuals 
were at the main expense of erecting the building would seem to 
be exploded. And, as there was a saw-mill in town in aid of which 
a large tract of land had been granted, the people would not be 
likely to construct their meeting house of logs. The building 
was sufficiently substantial and commodious to answer the needs 
of the town for fifty years. 

The town record showing the amounts that the town was 

assessing upon the inhabitants for various purposes during the 

years in which the meeting house was being paid for is sufficiently 

instructive to be given in full. 


A List of the disbursments Leuied by rate in 

this Tonne of Chelmsford from the first of the 

first month _ 58 J and the names of the persons 

; e 
to home they ware Comited : 

A rate for the paiment for A drum 

to Henry Farwell 3-5 

the Country rate for y 1 yeare was 

with an addition of half e 14-6-00 1 j 

:i : 6 [i6]59 


REV. joiin fiski: 105 

A rate to pay mr, Samuell Addams 46-8-0 

to A County rate 2-7-4 


to Joseph Parker Constable 
Y e yeare A rate for the Tonne house to meet in 22-2-6 

A Country rate Colledg & Law books 14-1-0 
A rate for a tonne stock of amunition 13-6-0 

A County rate and for A presentment 2-8-6 

Roberd Proctor Constable 51-18-00 

in y e yeare ; 

:6i : A Counte r y rate with an addition & 

to y e Colledg- 17-17-8 

A Tonne rate for glass and other 

dues from y c tonne 15- 1-8 

James Hilldereth 32-19-4 

8: 62: A Countery rate with an addition 

and Colledg 19- 19-3 

A rate for the meeting house for y' 

Tonne 100- 8-00 

Thomas Chamberline Constable 120- j-^ 

63: A rate for the meeting house 100-00-00 

to the Countery & Colledg 19-9-05^2 
A Tonne rate for y e meeting house 

Carting & other dues 27-1-11 


John Burge, Constable* 146-11-42" 

*Second book Town Records, original, page 190; Copy of 1892, page 



After the removal of Rev. Air. Fiske and his brethren from 
Wenham to Chelmsford those members in Wenham retained then- 
connection with the church, now the church of Chelmsford, and 
still looked to Mr. Fiske for spiritual guidance. This appears 
from a letter written by Mr. Fiske to the Wenham brethren, as 
copied from the Fiske record by the late David Pulsifer of Hus- 
ton. Only so much of the letter is here given as shows the 
relation of the Wenham members to this church and the objects 
of the letter. 

"The Copy of y c Church 5 Answer to y e L/s from o r brethren 
of Wenham Dated 31 of 1, 59. 

"To our beloved Brethren of y e Church at Chelmsford 
resident in Wenham." 

"Grace mercy & Peace be multiplyed by Jesus Christ." 
"Brethren Beloved in our Lord. 

We received of late Letters from you by our Bro: Byam 
whereby you expresse yo r desire of our present approba- 
tion counsell & prayers in Order to y e Erecting of a 
Church, amongst & of your seines, & to y e Calling an Offi- 
cer to administer vnto you, y c things of Christ: manifest- 
ing yo r hopes of Enjoying Mr. Newman in that worke & 
function: & afterward (when you shalbe fully resolved of 
this) that accordingly we would condescend to yeeld you 
Letters of dismission to y e worke of God * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * * * And though we cannot 
but greatly approve of yo 1 ' prudence in not determining 
that matter, or desiring Letters of dismission from vs to 
that worke, before you have recejved a full Answer from 
M r Newman in y e case w ch if we vnderstand be once giuen, 
according to your desire expressed, so as he shall both 
joyne w th you in gathering a Church, & vndertake office 
amongst you * * * * you shall not need question 
a readines & surenes on our parts to graunt you Letters 
of dismission, yea & our hearts & prayers 'shall goe along 


\v th them for his gracious presence & blessing to be voutch- 

saffed in Jesus Christ. So desiring y c God of all Grace 

to make you perfect, stablish strengthen settle you in his 

owne holy Truthes & waies, we take our leave at present, 

& rest. 

Chelmsford Yo r Loueing Br. 

24 of 2 (1 59 in y L bonds of y e Gospel 

Jo. ffiske 
in y c name and with y e consent 
of y e Church'' 

Rev. Antipas Newman was ordained at Wenham, Decem- 
ber, 8, 1663, a new meeting house having been built that year. 

Mr. Fiske prepared a Catechism for the instruction of the 
young people of his flock, which was printed at the expense of the 
church in 1657. Copies of this little work are now exceedingly 
rare, probably not more than one or two remain in existence. 
One specimen was contained in the library of the late George 
Livermore of Cambridge, which was bought by the Lenox Li- 
brary, of New York, for $106, at the auction sale of the Liver- 
more collection. It was entitled "The Watering of the Olive 
Plant in Christs Garden or A short Catechism For the first En- 
trance of our Chelmsford Children." 

The address, "To the Church & Congregation at Chelms- 
ford, Grace & Peace, through Jesus Christ," is as follows :* 

"Beloved, What is here presented to Public view is yours : 
for looking to the poor-Penman, as Relating to you : to the ex- 
ternal moving Cause, as arising firstly & freely from you, to the 
End & use as centering in you, to the reason of the Publishing 
thereof, as resting with you, and the care and costs, as to that end 
expended by you: It must not otherwise be determined but 
YOURS. Which being so, you have saved me the labour, of 
prefacing on behalfe, either of this so necessary & fruitfull an ex- 
ercise of Catechising, or of this present draught : or of publishing 
*Early New England Catechises, by Wilbeforce Eames 



it The present encumbrances of our new-beginning you know 
to have declined me till of late, from the former, and mine own 
inabilities much more from the latter, as being rather desirous to 
have made use of some others labours that way, or at least-wise 
to have acted mine own feeble apprehensions in a more private 
manner amongst our selves. But God hath moved your mind-.. 
first to see, and seeing" to cause, as it must be as it is. I shall add 
only a word or two touching use; I. The Scripture quotations 
in the margent, are so severed by those distinct marks as it is 
not hard to discern to which answer they pertayn. 2. They are 
orderly set down (for the generall) as they relate to the severall 
sentences or parts in the answers. 3. Where more than one, are 
mentioned to the same purpose, it is not without special cause, 
and may serve for help of memory, when we may have occasion 
to branch out such a subject, into its particulars. 4. Profitably 
you may reduce Promises to their proper heads in the Lords 
Prayer, and Dutyes or faylings to their proper places in the Deca- 
logue. As for the annexing of these with the Doctrine of the 
Sacraments, by way of Appendix. It is because the same will 
more suit with such capacties as are allready entered, then such 
as are but in their entrance. I say no more but this. If now 
you & yours, (as is hoped) shall gain any Spiritual fruit by these 
poor weak Travells of mine, I have my desire : and no small 
encouragement, in the midst of many wilderness-discouragements. 
To His Blessing therefore I commit both you & yours, who is the 
God of all Blessing: and Rest. 

Yours in the Lord, 

Chelmesford this 
25 of 1 mo: 1657." 

Mr. Allen says (P 124) "This little work is moderate in 
its doctrines, catholic in its spirit." The conclusion hovever 
would not be warranted from this that it taught any milder Cal- 
vanistic doctrines than the generality of New England churches 
at that time. 


The Puritan theocracy was still in force during .Mr. Fiske's 
pastorate. Our Puritan ancestors who had escaped from relig- 
ious persecution in England, proposed to avoid religious dissen- 
sions in their new home by founding a commonwealth to be 
composed of a united body of believers. The Cambridge Plat- 
form had been adopted in 1648, defining the creed and powers of 
the clergy. This was laid before the congregations and adopted 
by them. And the General Court had already in 1646 enacted a 
law for the banishment of heretics, prefaced by the declaration, 
"Although no Humane (human) power be Lord over the Faith 
and Consciences of men, yet because such as bring in damnable 
Heresies, tending to the subversion of the Christian Faith, and 
destruction of the souls of men ought duely to be restrained from 
such notorious impieties." 

The Fiske Record gives some facts relative to the publica- 
tion of the Catechism and the methods adopted by the church for 
catechising the children, viz : 

"& together herewithal in the 4 place of the refusall fas we 
vnderstood), to disburse their pportion to the Catech. printing, 
wch the ch: stands engaged to see satisfyed * * * (From 
a letter written to Esdras Read, under date of January 31, 1657-8, 
and copied into the Note-book) 

"23 of 10, 58 Voted by the church that the 33shs cjd wch 
the church stood engaged to see pd. to lir. James Parker for the 
Catechises should be for p'snt lent to him out of the church stock, 
& if light app hrafte (appear hereafter) to the Church where it 
lies behind, to be taken in to the deacos hand on th eaccont of 
the catechizes in lew of this loan if not light, then this pte of 
the Church stock to be here levyed in his hands as assigned to 
the discharge of this debt of the Church * * * * *" 

"6 of 12 64 A church meeting Catechising. Agreed by 
the church, that the sa course of catechizg of all undere 16 veers 
old, be attended at the house of the pasto viz. for mayds the day 
afte the Lecture, & for youth s the 2 d day of the weeke following 
the lecture. 



It [em J That for all yong men aboue 16 yeers old, vn- 
marryd. That it be moved, who will voluntarily app to giue in 

their Names to Answr in publick, & for such as shall decline: if 
children of the church, that the church shall see that they attend 
to he catechisd by the pasto in his 1 louse upon the 2 d day of the 
week monthly afte the lecture at the usual time, of meeting (viz. 
aboute 3 of the clock in afternoone & if they shall negl. to come 
on one day, to bring as much the next time, as may pportion the 
Time. This votd. 

That we begin the worke in publ. aboute the begining of 
2 d month. 

The Catechases to be dd out by Bro. Kemp at 6 d p peece. 

30 of 4. 69 The church mett * * :|: :;: After this, 
It was pposed the way of Catechising fro house to house. & the 
yong or vnmarried psos to meet at so one house of 4 or 5, the 
maryed to be visited in their owne houses." 

Of the six members of the church who came with Mr. 
Fiske from Wenham, two of them, Richard Goldsmith and Austin 
Killam, soon returned to Wenham where the former was killed 
by lightning in 1655, an( l the latter died in 1667. Esdras Read 
also withdrew from the church and went to Boston where he 
lived during the remainder of his life. 

There were others however who came with, or very soon 
after, Mr. Fiske, but who presumably were not members of the 
church as their names do not appear in the Fiske record. One of 
these was John Shepley who sold, in 1655, to William Fiske 
(brother of the minister) a dwelling house in Wenham, and land 
"butting with a bound tree by the mill & so running up to the 

And in 1656 the names of Sister Shipley's children were 
recorded on the church book at Chelmsford. 

Deacon Cornelius Waldo who, Allen says, came with the 
Fiske company, did not come for ten years. He was from Ips- 
wich where there is evidence of his living till 1665. 

* Essex Reg. of Deeds, So. Dist., Vol. 1 Leaf 27. 


t In June, 1656, there were nine additional members received 

into the church. The record of the meeting is as follows: 

"Vpon ii of 4, 56, a publick glial (general) fast. In the 
close of the day was the Church Cov 1 renewed repeate (1 & voted 
by the Brethren. 

It [em] there were received into o r cov 1 pfessing their wil- 
lingness to owne that o 1 ' co\ rt as had ben exp'ssed. 
1 1 William Fletcher . dismissed 

1 Bro: Adams his wife v fro the church Alary Adams 

2 Bro. Vnderwoods wife ) of Concord Sara \ nderwood 

3 Anna Bntterfield, the wife of Bro: Buttcrfield 

4 Alary Chamberlin, the wife of Bro: Tho: Chamblin 

5 Alary Lernett, the wife of Bro: Isaack Lernet 

6 Alary Thompso the wife of Bro: Symo Thoson 

7 Rose parker, the wife of Bro: Abra Parker 

8 Alargaret Parker, the wife of Joseph parker 

9 Alary Chamberlin, the wife of Edmond Chamblin 

dismissed to us fro the church of Ooburne. 
Edmond Chamblin, the so (son) of the 1 sd Alary Cham- 
blin, baptised 29 of 4, 56. This d. the Lo : snpp & here coicatd 
with us. Rob. Proctor of Concord. 
Rafe Mill & his wife | 

Geo: Early < of ooburn (Woburn) 

Will. Baker of the church of charlestowne." 
The church was for some time exercised over the question 
as to the relation which the children of the church members should 
sustain to the church. At a meeting 1 of n, 56 (Jan. 1, 1657) 
a set of propositions were adopted determining such relations, the 
third clause of which was: 

"3 That the children of Church members, vnder the age of 
14 or 15 y. when there puts (parents) tooke the Cov 1 are 
included in there puts Cov 1 & to be reputed members, & 
consequently to be baptised, not haueing ben before 


This question having been disposed of the "Brethren 
p r sented their childr, names & Ages," and then follow the names 
and ages of 75 children belonging to 17 families. 

The action of the church in the case of Mr. Fiske's son 
Moses, who had been prepared for college by his father at the 
age of 16 years, shows the zealous care which the church exer- 
cised over its members. 

"12 of 7, 58. This day Moses Fiske, being suddenly to 
depte to the Colledge was called forth before the Church: & 
owned thr his followeth Gov 1 in the face of the Church, psonally 
in cov 1 engaging himself to the Church, & the Church to him, as 
in the forme as follows." 

The covenant follows and also the copy of a long letter 
addressed to the Church of Cambridge, commending the young 
man to their brotherly care and watchfulness. 

The control exercised by the church over its members often 
affected their temporal interests. Personal interests must give 
way to those of the church, when they conflicted. 

We are accustomed to think of the people of those early 
times as leading a simple life mingling together upon terms of 
perfect equality. But we find that social distinctions were sharply 
drawn. Men of humble calling were addressed as Goodman. The 
prefix Mr. was applied to the minister, the justice and men of 
distinction. Most of the meeting houses of the early days were 
without pews, the people being seated upon rude benches. That 
was probably the case with the first one here. Seating the meet- 
ing house was a most significant custom. A committee chosen 
by the town and composed of its most dignified men, assigned to 
each person the seat that he, or she, was to occupy each sabbath. 
The custom of the time was to assign them according to age, 
rank and estate. When a new meeting house was built in 1712, 
the town voted as instructions to the seating committee, "that 
the Eldest persons shall be seted in the foremost seats and Like 
Wise that thare be a moderate Regard to estats in seating the 
meeting house." 


In 1678 the town chose "For a Comite to order the seat- 
ing in metting house Cap 1 thorn, hinchman Cap* Sam d! Adams 
en Thorn. Adams William vnderwod Josiah Richardson." 

In 1702, after the meeting house had been standing about 
forty years, the town voted to repair it. As the record expresses 
it — "both w*out side to keep out rain and snow & also within- 
side such Inlargement as may bee needful & in perticular A long 
table from one allee to another." Persons were seated at the 
table who were held to be entitled to especial consideration. Soon 
pews came in and a few favored persons were permitted to build 
pews at their own expense for themselves and families. But 
such a privilege could only be obtained by a vote in town meeting. 
In 1712 "It Was noted that Colonall tyng Capt Bowers Capt 
Barron and Jonathan Richardson shall haue the Liberty and 
Benefit of making Pues in that uacant Roome one the East side 
of the Pulpit in the New Meeting hou-s to the East Window." 

Of this favored few, the first was Colonel Jonathan Tyng, 
of that wealthy and aristocratic family for which the town of 
Tyngsboro was named. The second was Capt. Jerathmel Bowers 
who lived upon what is now Brooks Street in Lowell, and, if tra- 
dition tells true, in the identical house now occupied by one of 
his descendants, Joseph Bowers, and the birthplace of the Lowell 
City Engineer, George Bowers. The third pew owner, Capt. 
Moses Barron, was Chairman of the Selectmen and Town Clerk, 
and the last, Jonathan Richardson, was a military officer and the 
proprietor of a mill at the mouth of Stony Brook, at the present 
thriving village of North Chelmsford. 

Mrs. Alice Morse Earle, in her work "The Sabbath in 
Puritan New England," states that "often it was stipulated in 
the permission to build a pew that a separate entrance-door should 
be cut into it through the outside wall of the meeting-house." 
(Page 33). And I find records which look as though such favors 
had been granted in Chelmsford. For what other purpose could 
have been the doors ordered by the following votes in 1696, forty 




years after the building had been erected and supplied with suit- 
able entrances? "it is voted y l two men shall be ordered to make 
two dors at y e back side of y c meeting hous" and the years fol- 
lowing "it is uoated that thare shall be A doar mad out at the 
noarth sid of y e meeting house and A pillor set under y* bame." 

It is pleasant to find that those who came long distances, 
and so were obliged to remain during the long intermission be- 
tween the morning and afternoon services, looked after the com- 
fort of their horses, the town voting in 1719 "that Stephen Peirce 
senor and several of the inhabitants of the Neck shall haue 
Liberty to buld a Stable Nere the meeting house." From time 
to time others were given the like privilege. It is not for some 
time after that we find noon houses mentioned. These were 
small houses built by families living at a distance, as a place in 
which to spend the intermission, by a comfortable fire and eat 
their mid-day lunch. The diary of Judge Sewall of Boston 
mentions one bitter cold Sunday, "The communion bread was 
frozen pretty hard and rattled sadly into the plates." Several 
of the old noon houses are still standing about the village. 

This church, organized two hundred and fifty years ago, 
is now the First Congregational Society of Chelmsford, but has 
become Unitarian in belief. It has been a favorite theory of 
some of the later ministers of this church that liberal views have 
been preached there from the first. Such an opinion was prob- 
ably based upon Allen's statement in regard to the catechism as 
being moderate in its doctrines and catholic in its spirit. But, 
as Cotton Mather tells us that Mr. Fiske used the Assembly's 
Catechism in his public expositions we must conclude that the 
Calvanistic doctrines there taught must have been acceptable to 

The council which decided that Mr. Fiske should come to 
establish and preside over the Chelmsford church was not com- 
posed of men who would have tolerated views such as would now 
be considered liberal. At its head, as already mentioned, was 


Gov. Endicott, one of the most bigoted of Puritans. He it was 
who when presiding at the trial of one of the Quakers, when the 
people had lost all heart for the floggings and executions which 
had been inflicted upon those people, and the magistrates hesita- 
ted, Endicott, losing patience, .smote the table with fury, up- 
braided the judges for their weakness, and declared, "You that 
will not consent record it, I thank God I am not afraid to give 
judgement." The prisoner, Wenlock Christison, was condemned 
to death, but the sentence was not executed. 

Another member of the council, Richard Mather, was the 
man who drew up the Cambridge Platform. 

If Mr. Fiske had been preaching liberal views, such a 
council, instead of planting him over a new church, would have 
been more likely to have consigned him to the fate of Roger 
Williams and Anne Hutchinson. 

We must look therefore to the Westminster Catechism and 
the Cambridge Platform, for the doctrines taught by Mr. Piske, 
concerning God and his dealings with his children. 

Where there was but one church and that one holding the 
doctrines mentioned, it maintained a wonderful power over the 

All were taxed for its support, and rigid discipline was 
maintained over its members. Any breach of moral conduct 
must, if proved, be followed by public confession before the con- 
gregation. Think of the power required to induce a man to stand 
up in the meeting house and confess before all the people to the 
"Sin of Unrighteousness, dishonesty & falshood — publickly acted" 
as Parson Bridge records of a case in 1765. 

Attendance upon divine worship was compulsory so that 
all must attend the services whether they liked the preaching or 
not. And this law was not a dead letter — persons were often 
brought before the court for absence from meeting. I found in 
the court house in Cambridge a manuscript list of "Cases Pre- 
sented" to the "grand jury at Cambridge," in '1674 and among 



"In Concord: John Hoar, for absenting- himself from the pub- 
lick ordinances on y e lords days, Constantly that 
part of y e day that m r Buckley preacheth, 
witn : Richard Hassell, Jn° Smedley, Sen r ." 
This John Hoar, was an ancestor of the late Senator George F. 

And the law even went so far as to order that during the 
week day lecture all taverns within a mile of the meeting house 
should be cleared "of all persons able to go to Meeting, during 
the time of the exercise (except upon extraordinary cause, for 
the necessary refreshing of strangers * * * 

In Mr. Fiske's time the clergy of New England were at 
the height of their power. They largely framed the laws as 
well as defined the creeds. But the people in the meantime were 
doing some thinking upon their own account and a reaction 
gradually set in, so that after a time the work of the synods were 
little heeded. 

I have been surprised to find a record as early as 1749, 
contained in the diary of Rev. Ebenezer Bridge of Chelmsford, 
which reads, "I discoursed w th Jonas Robbins again about old 
M r Byham his denying y e Divinity of our Sav r , as S (1 Jonas 
charges him * * * 

And it is equally surprising to find Mr. Bridge's pulpit 
occupied in May, 1751, by Rev. Charles Chauncey of Boston, who 
later published a book entitled "Salvation for All Men." 

We would not like to go back to the preaching of the time 
of Mr. Fiske. But he labored faithfully according to his light. 

We wonder at their narrowness and intolerance. But 
nevertheless, in spite of their limitations the Puritan church was 
a mighty power for good, and from such influences has developed 
a society as good as the world has ever seen. 

After twenty years of faithful service the aged pastor, Rev. 
John Fiske, became physically unable to carry the burdens of his 


labors alone, and the town took measures to provide him an as- 
sistant in the ministry. The following- is the wording of the 
record : 

"The 13 Day of the 10 mo 1675 att a Genorall metting of 
inhabitants of Chelmsford was voated as Foloeth 
i ly in Consideration of mr. Fisks Age and infermitis Acompan- 
ing the same ther is ned of sum hilpe to Joine with mr. Fiske 
in the woorke of the minestry 
2'y that besids teh eighty pownds Formerly grauntid yerly to 
the minestry ther shall be Fourty pownds more Raised — 
yearly For the obtaining of mr. Clarke to bee a help in the 
worke Aforsaid if hee may bee Attained Recorded 

by ordei of the selectt men the 28 10 1675 



Mr. Fiske now rapidly declined in health, although he con- 
tinued his labors notwithstanding his weakness. "On the second 
Lord's day of his confinement by illness, after he had been many 
Lord's days carried to church in a chair, and preached as in 
primative times sitting * * * on January 14, 167-7- he saw 
a rest from his labors." 

Mr. Fiske's will is dated June 18, 1674. It is a lengthy 
document written by himself in an excellent hand. His library 
was appraised at £60 and the entire estate at £703-3-10, including 
154 acres of land, pair oxen, 4 cows, mare, 12 sheep, carpet 7 
quushions and 4 silver spoons. 

Flis gift, or legacy, of a silver communion cup to the 
church has been in use to the present time and I have brought it 
here for your examination. The cup was made by John Dixwell, 
Jr., son of the regicide Judge of that name. He was a goldsmith 
at Boston. On the bottom of the cup is stamped the maker's 
mark, a fleur-de-lis, and the initials I. D., and surrounding them 

*First book, page 129. 



the letters I. F. L. C. C. — John Fiske's Legacy Chelmsford 


He is buried in "Forefathers' " cemetery, but the exact 
spot is not known, as there are no inscriptions of so early a dale. 

A memorial cenotaph has been recently erected in the 
cemetery by the Fiske family of Chelmsford, to commemorate 
the life and the virtues of the rirst Pastor of the Chelmsford 
Church, the Rev. John Fiske. 

List of Papers Read Before The Society in 1905 

"Mrs. Sarah W. Francis." By Miss Mabel Hill. Head 
February 8, 1905. 

" Childhood Reminiscences of Middlesex Village." By 
Hon. Samuel P. Hadley. Read February 8, 1905. 

"Rev. John Fiske, the first pastor of the Chelmsford 
Church." By Henry S. Perham. Read March 18, 1905. 

"Childhood Reminiscences of Middlesex Village." (con- 
tinued). By Hon. Samuel P. Hadley. Read May 10, 1905. 

"The Voyages of Thoreau and his companions along the 
Concord and Merrimack." By Hon. Frank B. Sanborn, of Con- 
cord. Read October 1 1, 1905. 

"Union Generals in the Civil War who have been asso- 
ciated with Lowell and its vicinity." By Charles Cowley, Esq. 
Read December 13, 1905. 

"Experiences as a sharpshooter during the war and before 
Gettysburg." Remarks by Capt. George E. Worthen, December 
I3> 1905- 

Annual Report of the Executive Committee for [905-1906. 
Prepared and read by Solon W. Stevens, President, 

February 14, 1906. 

To the Officers and Members of the Lowell Historical Society. 

It again becomes my pleasant duty to present the animal 
report of the executive committee : and such a report ought to 
be a brief resume of the proceedings of the Lowell Historical 
Society during the year which tonight reaches its close. 

A little reflection will warrant the assertion that the past 
year, in so far as it relates to our peculiar line of work, has been 
such as to afford encouragement, and to inspire hope for greater 
results as time passes by. Our work is not at all sensational in 
its character. We do not try to compete with the "Vaudeville" 
in affording amusements, we do not seek to rival lecture courses 
in their announcements of song and instrumental combinations 
and brilliant speakers, who assume to discuss "live topics" and 
"vital questions,' 1 with rhetorical accomplishments and sometimes 
with, historical accuracy, restful, entertaining, and instructive as 
all this may be ; our sphere of endeavor in this organization is to 
study the past, especially as it relates to our immediate commun- 
ity ; to rescue from oblivion some of its traditions, to step in 
imagination in the footprints of others who in their time were 
the recipients of honor and universal esteem, to familiarize our- 
selves in some degree with the scenes which once were visible, 
but have since vanished at the approach of modern customs, to 
learn, if we can, how the old fashioned ideas of New England 
life developed men and women who were strong physically, 
spiritually, and intellectually ; to foster a reverence for some 
things that are old, not simply because they are old, but, because 
having been tested by time, they are ever new, and perchance, in 
tenderness of touch and with a reverential spirit, to wipe off the 
dust from some memorial urns. Such subject matter as this 
demands of our organization especial attention, and because there 
is some evidence of an increasing interest in the promotion of 
such investigation on the part of our citizens, ( we are growing 


confident that by perseverance in our customary quiet way of 
research and analysis along the lines of examination which come 
within our province, the time may not be far distant when the 
work in which we are engaged will rise to the dignity of appre- 
ciation on the part of the gene r al public. 

There are two suggestions which have occured to the mind 
of the President and which with propriety may find expression 
in an annual report. 

First, that a scrap book of proper and convenient size be 
procured and placed in the charge of the librarian wherein news- 
paper clippings and other similar material containing items of 
interest, like anecdotes, reminiscences of people, the history of 
public buildings and private houses and all other analogous data 
which may have a bearing on the history both of Lowell or its 
adjacent towns, may be collected and preserved carefully for use 
and reference in future times ; and that any person on finding 
such material may regard it as a privilege to send the same to the 
Lowell Historical Society for permanent care and second, that for 
the accomplishment of this design a letter-box be placed in the 
hall below near the entrance of this building marked '"Lowell 
Historical Society," for the reception of such material as has thus 
been indicated and described. In this way many important items 
of information may be rescued from oblivion and made useful in 
innumerable ways. 

At the last annual meeting of our Society a very interest- 
ing appreciative and scholarly sketch of the late Mrs. Sarah W. 
Francis was read by Miss Mabel Hill. 

At the same meeting a paper on "Childhood Reminiscen- 
ces of Middlesex Village," was read by the Hon. Samuel P. 
ITadley. The high esteem universally entertained for the speaker, 
his personal participation in many of the scenes graphically des- 
cribed, the characteristic perspicuity of style in which the story 
is written, the diction and the Addisonian turns of expression all 
combined to give an unusually large audience an evening of rare 



At a special meeting on the evening of March 1 8th, we 
had the pleasure of listening to a highly interesting paper on 
"The Rev. John Fiske, the first pastor of the Gielmsford 

Church," given by Mr. Henry S. Perham. 

At the regular meeting on May loth we were entertained 
and instructed in listening to the concluding portions of "Child- 
hood Reminiscences of Middlesex Village/' the same being the 
part of the paper read by the Hon. Samuel P. liadley at the meet- 
ing on February 8th which was omitted then for want of time. 

On the evening of October nth, a large audience had the 
pleasure of listening to the Hon. Frank 15. Sanborn of Concord, 
Massachusetts, in a delightful talk about the voyages of Thoreau 
and his companions along the Concord and Merrimac." The per- 
sonality of the speaker added much to the enjoyment of the even- 
ing. The fact that he had known intimately many of the famous 
people who have made Concord historic in the literary world 
awakened in the mind of the hearer a peculiar desire to catch 
every word which fell from the lips of this distinguished gentle- 
man, who is an acknowledged authority both in historical inci- 
dents and in literary criticism. 

At the regular meeting on December 13th we were delight- 
fully entertained by Charles Cowley, Esq., of this city who spoke 
to us about the "Union Generals of the Civil War, who have been 
associated with Lowell and its vicinity." Incidentally photographs 
of distinguished military gentlemen were shown to the audience, 
and after the address remarks akin to the subject which had been 
ably discussed were made by several gentlemen who were present 
and had served in the civil war. 

The obituary record of the society is as follows : 
James G. Buttrick, died April 6, 1905 

James M. Pearson, died Oct. 3, 1905. 

Alonzo L. Russell, May 22, 1905 

William Shepard, died July 28, 1905 

Henry A. Fielding, of Bozeman, Montana, 
a corresponding member, died Oct. 29, 1905 

ANNUAL REPORT, 1905-1906 123 

Mr. James G. Buttrick was born in Lowell, Mass., March 
7, 1835 and was seventy years and one month old at the date of 
his decease, lie was a direct descendant from Major John But- 
trick, who commanded the Minute men of Concord, and gave the 
order to fire upon the British troops on the historic 19th day of 
April, 1775. He was variously employed as bookkeeper for many 
years in several well known business houses, both here and in 
Boston, and in 1871 he assumed the duties of the Office of Treas- 
urer of the Thorndike Manufacturing Company, which position 
he retained for many years. He retired from active business life 
several years before his decease. He was a very religious man 
and his influence as such was widely felt in the community. He 
joined the Appleton Street Congregational Church, now known 
as the First Presbyterian Church, in 1856 while the Rev. John P. 
Cleveland was pastor. He was interested in the promotion of the 
interests of the Eliot Church. He was one of those who started 
the "Faith Chapel" and when the Highland Congregational 
Church project originated he gave to the enterprise time, energy, 
and money until the church was built. From that time he con- 
tinued an active worker in this church as Sabbath school super- 
intendent, and as deacon. He presented to this church its organ, 
and in various ways contributed liberally of his means for the 
support and general welfare of this church. 

It is a matter of record also that jointly with his sister, 
Miss Martha Buttrick, he gave to the Young Women's Christian 
Association, the John Street Congregational Church building 
which has since been remodelled into one of the finest Associ- 
ation buildings in the country. 

As a citizen he was conscientious and was always heartily 
in sympathy with every enterprise having for its object the main- 
tenance of good government. 

He leaves behind the record of a faithful friend, and zeal- 
ous Christian man. 


I2 4 


Mr. James Munroe Pearson was born in Deerfield, New 
Hampshire, March 10th, 1827, and died at Lowell, Massachusetts 
at the age of seventy-eight years and four months. He was widely 
known as one of the firm of J. & J. M. Pearson, dealers in for- 
eign and domestic fruits, on Shattuck Street. The partnership 
was dissolved a little over a year ago, both men retiring from 
active business. lie was a prominent member of the Methodist 
church and was one of the earliest members of the Old Residents' 
Historical Association. -He was a quiet, unassuming man, firm 
in his convictions, but never anxious to obtrude them, and always 
re'tained the highest respect and friendship of those who were 
favored with his acquaintance. 

Mr. Alonzo L. Russell was born in Bethlehem, New Hamp- 
shire, March 15th, 1839, and came to Lowell in i860, where he 
died at the age of sixty-six years and one month, lie was widely 
known as Treasurer of the Thorndike Manufacturing Company 
and as a dealer in real estate. He served in the City Council of 
Lowell in 1872, 1883 anc * 1884. He was actively interested in 
the origin and prosperity of the Chelmsford Street Church. He 
was always interested in public affairs, was highly respected, 
and in his death lamented as an interprising citizen and a man 
possessing the entire esteem of the community in which he lived. 

Mr. William Shepard, a resident of Lowell for fifty-nine 
years, died at Hampton Peach, New Hampshire, at the age of 
seventy-nine years. He was prominently known as a commission 
broker in government bonds and other securities. He was closely 
identified with the securities of the Lowell manufacturing com- 
panies, and for many years was considered an authority in giving 
advice to business men in their pecuniary investments. He was 
for many years closely identified with the Worthen Street Baptist 
Church. He was greatly esteemed as a citizen and as a man of 
strict Christian integrity. 

Mr. Henry A. Fielding was a corresponding member of 
this Society. 

ANNUAL REPORT, I905-I906 125 

He was born in Torrington, Connecticut, February 19th, 
1828, hence at the time of his decease was seventy-seven years 
and five months of age. He came to Lowell as a little child in 
1832. After employment in the firm of Chase and Sargent, tail- 
ors, he entered the firm of J. B. Fielding & Co., paints, paper 
hanging, etc., and subsequently formed a co-partnership with 
George H. Bartlett, under the firm name of Fielding and Bartlett, 
which was the predecessor of the present well known firm of 
Bartlett and Dow. 

About twenty years ago he removed to Bozeman, Montana, 
at which place he died. He leaves two sisters, Mrs. Sarah A. 
Harris, and Miss Philena J. Fielding of this city, and a son, Mr. 
Fred A. Fielding, now of Bozeman, Montana. He was a genial 
upright man and is well remembered by the older of our citizens, 
especially as one worthy of the good opinion and the affectionate 
remembrances of his friends and acquaintances. 

The average age of these five men is a little more than 
seventy-four years. Their lives were long, useful, strenuous, 
and victorious, and when the summons for their departure came 
they were regarded as men of mark, of honor, and worthy of 
genuine esteem. It is well to heed the lesson which these reflec- 
tions suggest, for none can tell when the long night shall come 
wherein no man can work. 

Address of Alfred P. Sawyer, Esq., and Presentation of tiif. 
Lowell Historical Society Prizes for the Besi His- 
torical Essays by Members of the Class of 1906 of 
The Lowell High School, at the Graduation Exer- 
cises of the Class, Lowell Opera House, June 25, 1906. 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Class of 1906, and Ladies and 

Gentlemen : 

For the first time the name of the Lowell Historical Soci- 
ety appears on the graduation programme of the Lowell High 
School. For the first time it offers prizes for historical essays, 
and as I have been requested to present these prizes, I wish to 
say a few words concerning the donor and its reasons for offer- 
ing them. The Lowell Historical Society was organized in 1902, 
"for the purpose," as stated in its certificate of incorporation, 
"of collecting and preserving books, manuscripts,; records, and 
objects of antiquarian and historical interest ; of encouraging the 
study of local history ; of maintaining a library ; and of publishing 
from time to time whatever may illustrate and perpetuate the 
history of Lowell and adjacent towns." It acquired the library, 
publications, and other property of The Old Resident's Historical 
Association of Lowell, which was formed in 1868 by men who 
were residents of the city at the date of its incorporation in 1836, 
that being a condition of membership. The by-laws of the Lowell 
Historical Society are broad and liberal, welcoming to member- 
ship all men and women of this city and the adjacent towns, and 
it also provides for life, honorary, and corresponding member- 
ships. It has a library of about 1,000 volumes, and it has over 
$1,000 in its treasury. It is an historical society, but it aims to 
extend its activities in a broad way for the city's good, and while 
it recognizes the truth of the declaration upon our city seal, that 
"Art is the Handmaid of Human Good," it is not forgetful of 
the admonition on the seal of Chelmsford, our mother town, — 
"Let the Children Guard What the Sires Have Won." Although 
the work of the Society relates to the past, it is ever mindful 
that the deeds and words of today, — of this very night, — become 
history tomorrow. History is not today a study of a dim and 

L. II. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, 1906 127 

misty Past, — "a fable agreed upon," as Napoleon cynically defined 
it, — nor is it a mere compilation of the facts and data of more 
recent years. It is a Philosophy. The Past is the storehouse 
of the World's experience; it contains the wealth and dross of 
all the Ages. Only as we apply that experience to our present 
needs and to our future guidance, is it of use to us, either as 
individuals, or in our political or national life. We live in the 
present, but we realize that our city has a past of which we may 
all be proud. We also realize that these classes passing year 
after year through the portals of our great City University, — for 
it is nothing less, — and entering upon the paths which lead to 
citizenship, contain the men and the women who will to a great 
degree control and direct the destinies of Lowell. We wish them 
to know its past, that the lives of the men who Bunded it, and 
the deeds of those who have served it well, may be an incentive 
to civic manhood. And so the Lowell Historical Society, in part 
fulfillment of its duty "to encourage the study of local history, " 
and with the consent and approval of the school committee and 
the faculty of the school, offers these prizes to the graduating 
class of the Lowell High School for the best historical essays. 

"The Lowell High School ; Its History, and the History 
Its Boys and Girls Have Made," was the subject announced by 
the Society for this year's competition, under the following rules 
and conditions: "The essays shall contain not less than 1,200 
nor more than 2,000 words, and the two prize essays shall become 
the property of the Lowell Historical Society, with the right of 
publication. An envelope containing the name and address of 
the writer of the essay and marked on the outside with the writ- 
er's pen name only, shall be sealed and placed with the essay also 
signed with the writer's pen name only, in an envelope to be 
sealed, addressed, and delivered on or before June 1, 1906, to the 
Society's Chairman of Committee on Prize Essays. The essays 
will be submitted to competent and disinterested Judges to be 
appointed by the Society, whose decision and award will appear 
on the graduation programme, and the prizes will be presented 


as a part of the graduation exercises of the Class of 1906." The 
following Judges, residents of Lowell, were appointed by the 
Society: — Rev. Charles T. Billings, pastor of the Unitarian 
Church, well known as a classical scholar, and possessing fine 
literary style and taste; Miss Mabel Hill, teacher of History in 
the State Normal School, and a writer on historical subjects; and 
Dr. Thomas F. Harrington, the author of the History of the 
Harvard Medical School. The envelopes containing the essays 
were opened by the Committee and Judges, the envelopes con- 
taining the writers' names were removed, and the essays delivered 
to the Judges. They held several meetings, and after careful 
examination, returned the essays with their findings to the Socie- 
ty's Committee, awarding the first prize to the writer of the 
essay signed "Holt," and the second prize to the writer of the 
essay signed "H. P." The sealed envelopes so marked were 
then opened by the Chairmen of the Committee and Judges, and 
the envelope marked "Holt" was found to contain the name, Al- 
fred M. Caddell, and the envelope marked "H. P." contained the 
name, Harold P. Conklin. These young men are therefore en- 
titled to receive the prizes. Mr. Caddell, it gives me great 
pleasure in behalf of the Society to present you its first prize of 
$10 in gold; and it is with equal pleasure, Air. Conklin, that I 
present you the other prize of $5 in gold. Although these prizes 
possess some pecuniary value, the labor and perseverance which 
enabled you to win them are of much greater worth. The re- 
search, the study, and the preparation which all the writers in 
this competition have given the subject, must give you a knowl- 
edge of your school which you would not otherwise possess, and 
you will all pass through the metamorphosis which is soon to 
change you into alumni, with a deeper appreciation of the honor 
your diplomas confer upon you. 

But whatever honors may come to you gentlemen, you 
will ever possess the distinction of being the first recipients of the 
prizes which the Lowell Historical Society first' offered to the 
Class of 1906. 


Lowell High School Historical Essay, awarded the Lowell 
Historical Society's First Prize of $io in gold. By 
Alfred M. Caddell, of the Class of 1906. 

The Lowell High School, Its History, and the History 
Its Boys and Girls have made. 

The history of the Lowell High School, as compared with 
similar institutions in the state, stands in the first class. Wher- 
ever its name is mentioned, either in our own city, or in any 
other nearby place, the first thought is, without a doubt, that it 
is a grand, and, we might say, an envied school, both for educa- 
tional and athletic purposes. It is a very desirable ornament to 
be looked upon by the citizens of Lowell, and Lowell feels, or 
ought to feel, quite proud of owning such a beneficial factor, — 
a school that has graduated many prominent men and women, 
and one to which the city looks forward to for her support and 

The institution was first established in December, 183 1, in 
a small building, which had been previously, the Hamilton Con- 
poration counting room, on the corner of Elliot and Middlesex 
Streets. "After due public notice," forty-seven boys and girls 
passed the examination given by the school committee, and "com- 
prised the school." Among that forty-seven were General Ben- 
jamin F. Butler, of Givil War fame, Gustavus Y. Fox, who 
served during the same war as Secretary of the Navy, and who 
later became a distinguished envoy to the Emperor of Russia, 
and Governor Straw of New Hampshire, Thomas M. Clark, then 
a young man, but afterwards Episcopal Bishop of Rhode Island, 
was chosen principal at a salary of seven hundred dollars a year. 
He served ably in that capacity for two years, and was succeeded 
in turn by several others, all of whom held the office only for a 
short time. Thus our school, so established, holds the honor of 
being the first permanent high school to be founded in New 
England, under the amended statute law of 1826. 

During its first nine years the school wandered from place 
to place, like an Arabian caravan, and "pitched its moving tent," 


wherever there was room. The first change was from the room 
on Middlesex Street to the attic of the old south school house, 
but, like a sea of crowded waters, it had to give way for the ris- 
ing grammar school, and again it was the "ark in the wilderness." 
Thus the high school led a very nomadic life until 1840, when a 
building was erected on Kirk and Anne Streets. The school 
committee boasted at the time that the new house was the larg- 
est and most up-to-date building ever consecrated to the cause 
of education in the public schools. In later years, however, it 
was severely criticised for its lack of architecture and accommo- 
dation, but, nevertheless, if the building itself were judged poor, 
the name was never injured. 

Previous to the opening of this new structure the girls and 
boys sat in the same room, and mingled together in society, but 
their social inclinations interfered with the school work and the 
committee deemed it wise to have them separated. Therefore, 
on entering the new building we find the sexes in different rooms, 
the boys under Moody Currier, who was afterwards Governor of 
New Hampshire, on the lower floor, and the girls under Miss 
Lucy E. Penhallow, on the second floor. Thus with a larger 
school and better accommodations came more pupils and the 
school started a new life. 

Moody Currier, who had been principal since '36, was 
given a raise in salary to one thousand dollars, and Miss Pen- 
hallow to six hundred, while Mr. James S. Russell, who had been 
teacher of mathematics since 1835, and who served faithfully 'till 
1880, received seven hundred, as did also John W. Brown, a 
teacher of languages. 

In 1837, it had become a fixed rule that the schools of 
Lowell should open every morning session with devotional ex- 
ercises. This practice greatly benefitted the scholars, and the 
superintendent said that more morality, decency and respect was 
the result. 

L. II. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, I906 131 

In 1842 Franklin Forbes, who had been principal during 
the year 1835-1836, returned to the school and renewed his duties. 
He was a self-made, conscientious, and esteemed man, and did 
much to lay the foundation of the school's success. His career 
as principal ended, however, in 1845, when he resigned to take 
a position as agent of the Lancaster mills in Clinton, Massachu- 
setts, and there he found his vocation at last. 

Mr. Forbes' successor was Charles C. Chase, a man of ex- 
emplary character, and a man who will never be forgotten by the 
educational poeple of Lowell. He made the High School what 
it is, and established a firm foundation for his worthy successors 
to build upon. 

In the years preceding Mr. Chases' administration the 
school had capable and conscientious teachers, but the system 
employed and the management of the school were so unmodern, 
that it is often wondered how they were ever endured with 
patience. There were no regular courses of study, as there are 
now, and pupils could study as many subjects as they chose, and 
as long as they desired. There was no limit to the length of 
attendance, nor was it in any way compulsory. The pupils 
"visited" when they pleased and graduated without ceremony 
when they felt ready, and that was as far as any one ever seemed 
to get. The school committee of 185 1 described the instruction 
as being "irregular, intermittent, and fragmentary," and their re- 
ports were full of tiresome scoldings over the irregular at- 
tendance, but, never mentioned any changes by which the 
school could be improved. The percentage of attendance, 
during the foregoing years, averaged about two-thirds of 
those who called themselves pupils, and of that number, nearly 
one-third were absent most of the time. Each teacher had a 
dozen or so recitations to hear every day, and, in fact, matters 
were so far below the standard that the private schools, which 
had almost died out when the High School opened, increased in 
numbers and strength again until the school got to be a "mere 
reception room" for the cast-offs of other institutions. 


Like a good many other things, however, the High School 
lived through its dark age and began a new life in 1852, when the 
two department system was abolished, and Mr. Chase, who, as 
will be remembered, was principal of the male part since 1845, 
was given the principalship of the whole school. The studies 
were arranged in courses, and matters became more methodical. 
In 1858 diplomas were awarded the graduates for the first time, 
and in the next year "Carney Medals," the generous gift of James 
G. Carney, the first treasurer of The Lowell Institution for Sav- 
ings, were bestowed on the six most proficient graduates, three 
boys and three girls. The competition for these medals greatly 
increased the interest in the studies, and even the scholars of to- 
day work hard to achieve the honor of winning a "Carney Medal." 

Since then the school continued to prosper until, in 1864, 
an addition and remodeling became necessary. This enlarge- 
ment gave only temporary relief however, and in a few years 
overcrowding began again. Recitation rooms were fitted up in 
the main hall, and a chemical laboratory was put in the basement. 
The daily sessions were changed so as to last from half-past eight 
to one o'clock, and the number of required studies were decreased, 
in order that the main subjects might be learned thoroughly. In 
1 88 1, military instruction was introduced to the boys, and eight 
years later physical culture was taught to the girls. These good 
movements greatly increased the popularity of the school, and 
benefited the scholars immensely. By this time, however, the 
school had grown so, that a room had to be fitted up in the attic 
of the Worthen Street Primary, and the remainder of the school 
hall was sectioned off to accommodate the increased numbers. 

In 1883, Lowell lost the man that held the secret of the 
High School's success, Mr. Charles C. Chase. He served the 
school faithfully for thirty-eight years, a record that surpassed all 
the former principals put together, and as good an eulogy as 
any one could desire. The next incumbent was Mr. Frank F. 
Coburn, and he held the office until 1897, when he resigned to 

L. II. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, 1906 133 

take the Normal School principalship. His successor, Mr. Cyrus 
W. Irish, our present worthy head-master, rose to that office from 
a teacher and has shown himself to be capable, energetic and 

In 1 89 1, the building now standing was erected and num- 
bers increased immediately, thus showing the necessity for it. But 
that, like all other enlargements, served only temporarily, and 
nine years later the Annex on Paige Street had to be built. Ac- 
cording to the predictions now, that building will also become 
inadequate, and it is evident that another addition of some sort 
will be necessary in a few years hence. 

Besides its own, our boys and girls have given the school 
a history that will never shame it, nor fade into the depths of its 
walls. Many of the graduates have risen to eminence, some of 
whom are Bishop O'Connell, of the Roman Catholic Church, Ex- 
Governor Allen of Porto-Rico, Professor MacDaniels of Hobart 
College, Professors Dow and Proctor of Dartmouth, Professor 
Tobin, the head chemist of the United States Government, and 
but recently deceased, and those first mentioned, besides many 
scientific women and political people of our own city and state. 

The students of today have made the school very popular, 
especially in the athletic circles, in which it leads among other 
New England Preparatory schools. The girls, by their graceful, 
as well as artistic basket-ball playing, have excited much com- 
ment in our own city, and have won for themselves, much fame 
throughout New England, and even to the heart of the nation, 
where President Roosevelt recently congratulated them on their 
grand success. The boys with their track team have astonished 
other schools, and have won the championship of the Merrimack 
Valley circuit. They have proven themselves qualified against 
our own city athletes, as was clearly shown on Memorial Day on 
the South Common. Together with their own ability, the secret 
of success, both for the girls and boys, lies in their instructors, 
and also, in the fine accommodations in the drill shed at the Annex 


In 1899 an athletic association was formed in the school, 
the originator and chief supporter of which was Carl Staples, who 
is now superintendent of schools in Ponce, Porto Rico. This 
movement has proven itself successful, as it supports the various 
school teams and covers all incidental expenses. In 1903, the 
girls split off from the boys, and formed an association of their 
own, thus showing their independence and confidence in sup- 
porting it. 

Besides educational and athletic interests, there is much 
attention given to social gatherings of a body called the Alumni, 
which consists of graduates of the school from 1840 up to 
the present time. This movement was first started in 1863 by 
some class-mates ; but no real association was formed until 1900, 
when one was incorporated under the leadership of Winnifred C. 
MacBrayne, Harold Caverly, Solon W. Stevens, Esq., and a 
few other prominent graduates. The object of the association 
is to bind classmates together, who would otherwise prob- 
ably forget the school to which they owe so much, and also to 
help along some students who cannot afford the necessary ex- 
penses for a college education. 

Long may our High School prosper and long may its 
history be bright in the annals of Lowell. 

Lowell High School Historical Essay awarded the Lowell 
Historical Society's Second Prize oe $5 in gold. By 
Harold P. Conklin, of the Class of 1906. 

The Lowell High School and the History Its Boys and 
Girls Have Made. 

In the year 1830, the General Court of Massachusetts 
passed a law making a high school compulsory for every city or 
town having more than five hundred families. At this time 

Lowell was only a small town, and a census of its citizens showed 
that there were less than the required number. Through the 
efforts of the Rev. Theodore Edson, however, a high school 
was decided upon. No account of the schools of Lowell can give 
too much credit to this worthy Episcopal clergyman, who has 
been very appropriately styled, "The Lather of Lowell's Schools." 

The Lowell High School was opened for' the first time on 
a Monday morning in December, 1831. This school has the great 
honor of being the first permanent co-educational school in the 
state. For the first year the sessions were held in one room of 
a little wooden building at the comer of Elliot and Middlesex 
Streets. The principal, Thomas H. Clark, was only nineteen 
years of age, but was very popular with the scholars. After 
leaving the school, Mr. Clark went to Rhode Island and eventu- 
ally became a very successful Episcopal bishop of that state. 

At first, candidates for entrance were submitted to an oral 
examination by the school committee. In later years, however, 
a written examination became necessary. 

For the first nine years the high school moved about, from 
place to place, like the ark of old in the wilderness. Now it was 
found in the lower room of the Free Chapel on Middlesex Street. 
Next it was in an upper room of the present Edson School. Then 
it was situated in Concert Hall, near the spot where A. G. Pol- 
lard's store now stands. The Bartlett School furnished the next 
location. Then it was moved to an attic room in St. Mary's 
Church on Suffolk Street. This proved to be a wretched place. 
The air was bad, and there was hardly room for the scholars to 



turn around. As soon as possible the school was moved back to 
the Free Chapel. During all this time, there were frequent peri- 
ods when the school was closed, either from lack of a teacher or 
lack of a location. 

In 1841, the high school was moved to a building on Kirk 
and Anne Streets, which was built especially for it. Here the 
school remained for fifty years. During the greater part of this 
half century, Mr. Charles C. Chase was principal of the school. 
Under his able management great advances were made. From 
1840 to 1867, the sexes were separated and the school was divided 
into two parts, called the male and female departments. For the 
first thirty-six years there were two sessions a day. In 1867, 
however, upon complaint of the parents, one session of four and 
one-half hours was substituted. After a term of thirty-eight 
years, Mr. Chase resigned and Mr. Frank F. Coburn took his 

The school again outgrew its quarters in 1891. It was 
moved into temporary quarters in the old Mann School and in the 
attic of the Worthen Street School. The old high school build- 
ing was demolished, and a new, up-to-date structure was erected 
in its place, This building was dedicated in December, 1893. It 
is constructed of buff brick, is three stories high, and contains 
eighteen recitation rooms, two well-equipped laboratories, and a 
large assembly hall. 

The teaching of manual training in connection with the 
high school work was begun in 1894. At first this was taught in 
two rooms in Odd Fellows block, but one year later it was moved 
to the old Moody School. Meanwhile, the high school building 
had become overcrowded, and the need of a new building for the 
manual-training and commercial courses became imperative. In 
1900 the high school annex was built at the corner of John and 
Paige Streets. This has relieved the over-crowding of the main 
building, for the present at least. 


L. II. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, 1 906 137 

In 1903 it was found necessary to increase the length of 
the session from four and one-half to five hours on account of 
the ever-increasing requirements for college. The present head- 
master, Mr. Cyrus W. Irish, is liked and respected by scholars 
and teachers alike. Under his guidance the school has attained 
a higher state of efficiency than ever before. At the present time 
there are about one thousand pupils belonging to the school. 
What a difference between this number and the forty boys and 
girls with which the school started ! 

But more important than the school and its history is the 
history that its graduates have made. Many are the distinguished 
names that are recorded on the list of graduates of the Lowell 
High School. Among these names a few are worthy of especial 
mention. In the first class that ever entered the school, that of 
183 1, there are at least two names which should be well known 
to every American. These two are Gnstavus V. Fox and Ben- 
jamin F. Butler. Of the two, the latter is by far the more widely 
known. But he rendered his country no greater services than 
did the former. 

After leaving the Lowell High School, Gnstavus Yasa 
Fox entered the navy as midshipman. lie fought through the 
Mexican War and rose to the rank of lieutenant. At the close 
of the war he retired from the navy. At the outbreak of the 
Civil War Lieutenant Fox was called to Washington by General 
Scott. He was placed in command of a schooner with supplies 
for Fort Sumpter, but the fort surrendered before he reached it. 
Upon his return to Washington he was made Assistant Secretary 
of the Navy. He held this post throughout the war. It was his 
clever mind that planned the capture of New Orleans and the 
opening of the Mississippi. In fact, almost all the movements 
of our navy during the Civil War were directed by Lieut. Fox. 
After the war he retired to civil life once more. He was soon 
sent to Russia, however, as a special envoy to congratulate Em- 
peror Alexander II on his escape from assassination. This visit 


resulted in the purchase of Alaska hy the United States. Al- 
though this purchase seemed unimportant at the time, Alaska has 
since proved to be a region of untold riches. Jt has already paid 
for itself several times over. Every citizen of Lowell should he 
proud of this man, at one time a pupil of the Lowell High School, 
who brought about a transaction so advantageous to our country. 

General Benjamin F. Butler is, perhaps, too well known to 
have his history repeated here. He it was, who occupied Balti- 
more without bloodshed. He was in command of the land forces 
that occupied New Orleans, and was in command of the city for 
some time. At the close of the war he returned to his practice 
of law and was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1882. His 
life was devoted to his country and he served her well. 

Among the later graduates are Governor' E. A. Straw of 
New Hampshire, a man whom everyone respected ; President C. 
A. Aiken of Union College ; H. H. Huse, speaker of the New 
Hampshire House of Representatives ; J. C. Ayer, J. C. South- 
wick, and J. D. Prince, three men particularly distinguished for 
their financial ability; George Stark, a celebrated railroad mana- 
ger ; and many other men prominent in their chosen professions. 

Graduates of the high school were not found wanting at 
the time of the Civil War. General John C. Caldwell and Gen- 
eral Michael T. Donohoe were both graduates of the Lowell High. 
Captain James A. Sladen, another graduate, was a delicate young 
fellow and although mutilated by the loss of a limb early in the 
war, he served bravely to the end. Captain Edward G. Abbott 
died while facing Jackson's charge up Cedar Mountain. He al- 
lowed his men to lie down, but he himself stood erect and was 
shot down while cheering his men. Many other graduates were 
as brave as he. 

Among the more recent graduates are Frederic T. Green- 
halge and Charles H. Allen. Mr. Greenhalge was at one time 
mayor of Lowell and later became Governor of Massachusetts. 
He was a man whose sense of justice was neVer obscured, and 

L. H. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, I906 1 39 

who never allowed personal influences to interfere with the [proper 
discharge of his duties. He died while in office and his loss was 
mourned by the whole state. 

Charles H. Allen was a Member of Congress for several 
years, and at the outbreak of the Spanish War lie was Assistant 
Secretary of the Navy. He filled this position so acceptably that, 
at the close of the war, he was appointed Governor-General of 
Porto Rico. This was a trying position just at that time, but 
Mr. Allen was equal to the occasion and affairs in Porto Rico 
soon assumed a far more promising aspect than they had ever 
done under the Spanish regime. After a few years Mr. Allen 
retired to civil life and is at present living in New York. 

It would be unfair not to mention at least three women 
who are among the alumni. Miss Marietta Melvin was a gradu- 
ate of the Lowell High School and later became a teacher of lan- 
guages and elocution in the same school. After several years she 
resigned her position in order to go to China as a missionary. 
She did a great deal of good there by translating our literature 
into Chinese. She also published a religious paper in Chinese. 
A few years ago she died at her self-appointed post of duty. 

Miss Edna Foster, another graduate, has been very suc- 
cessful as a member of the ''Youth's Companion" staff. 

Graduates of the high school may be found in nearly all 
our local schools, but Miss Mary A. Webster, teacher of Eng- 
lish and mathematics in the high school, takes the lead in point 
of long and faithful service, having nearly completed a half cen- 
tury in this position. 

Although the Lowell High School may not have as many 
distinguished graduates as some other schools, yet it is certain 
that no school has furnished the state and the country with better 
citizens than our own. And, after all, is it not the good citizen 
upon whom the making of our country's history devolves? This 
being so, we may feel assured that in the future, as in the past, 
graduates of the Lowell High School will be found in the front 
ranks of the makers of our country's history. 

Some Reminiscences oe Daniel Webster. By Hon. Samuel 
P. Hadley. Read December 12, 1906. 

From Whittier's "Lost Occasion." 

Thou, whom the rich heavens did so endow 

With eyes of power and Jove's own brow, 

With all the massive strength that fills 

Thy home-horizon's granite hills, 

With rarest gifts of heart and head 

From manliest stock inherited, 

New England's stateliest type of man, 

In port and speech Olympian; 

Whom no one met, at first, but took 

A second awed and wondering look. 

There, are, doubtless, a large number of elderly persons, 
my seniors it may be by a number of years, whose opportunities 
for seeing and hearing Daniel Webster were far greater than my 
own, and whose recollections, could the world reacLthem, would 
be infinitely more interesting and instructive. 

Still, I make no excuse for making public the following 
youthful recollections of him, trivial as some may deem them, and 
as they doubtless are, for the reason that I believe anything, how- 
ever slight, concerning one of the most remarkable men and ex- 
alted characters this or any other country has ever produced, will 
be perused with interest by the young and those in middle life, 
and may, T hope, afford some pleasure to persons of my own 

I do not propose to enter upon any eulogy of Daniel Web- 
ster. That lias been done already. Let me say, however, that 
he was, beyond a doubt, intellectually, the greatest man this coun- 
try has produced. 

His fame is secure. lie was a great lawyer, a great states- 
man, a great orator, and a great American. He was, as he him- 
self said of Washington "an American production," and to this 
may justly be added his other words applied to the Father of his 
country: he was "the embodiment and vindication of otir trans- 
atlantic liberty." 

Even his most bitter political enemies were generous 
enough to admit his transcendent abilities, and earnest patriotism. 


The whole country irrespective of party, regarded him as 

an intellectual giant ; and such he certainly was. 

To read and study his grand orations and public speeches 
so full of noble, patriotic and inspiring thoughts, clothed in the 
strongest and purest English, is the privilege and duty of the 
young of today; but how much greater the privilege had the 
young of fifty of sixty years ago, in listening to these immortal 
words, as they came from his own lips, in the tones of his mag- 
nificent voice, and delivered in the great man's impressive and 
unequalled manner. 

To have ever seen Daniel Webster is something to remem- 
ber ; to have both seen and heard him, is an experience to be 

Air. Webster had an extraordinary personality. He was 
unlike any other man I ever saw. He impressed the beholder by 
his appearance alone, as a great man. Meet him anywhere and 
under any circumstances, and you knew he was no common mor- 
tal. There was in his face, form, bearing and every other out- 
ward expression, that which made one feel his superiority to other 
men. Some Englishman who met him in London, said he "looked 
like a great cathedral ;" while Sidney Smith, with a characteristic 
coarseness of comparison, it is true, said he ''looked like a steam 
engine in trousers." 

He was, indeed, the embodiment and incarnation of intel- 
lectual power. That he had his faults and failings, his most 
devoted friends and admirers will readily admit ; but all things 
considered, as Hamlet says of his father, "He was a man, take 
him for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again." 

I saw and heard Daniel Webster for the first time at the 
dedication of the Bunker Hill monument, June 17th, 1843, on 
which occasion he was the orator of the day, as he had been at 
the laying of the corner-stone by General Lafayette, eighteen 
years before. 



I was then a boy of eleven years and rode in a carriage 
with my parents from my home, then in Chelmsford, to attend 
the celebration. How vividly I recall almost every incident of 
that delightful ride. The day was one of those delicious ones of 
sunshine and shower which a New England June so often gives 
us, "When Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune." The fields 
were clothed in deep green, the foliage of the trees was fully ex- 
panded, and the moist atmosphere was laden with the perfume of 
June blossoms. 

We rode through Billerica and Bedford, stopping to bait 
the horse at a tavern in Woburn. On reaching Charlestown, my 
father found great difficulty in getting accommodation for his 
horse, such was the crowded condition of the stables ; but after a 
time succeeded in securing a comfortable shelter for the sorrel 
mare in an improvised stall at the Bunker Hill House stable. 

As for ourselves we were invited to partake of the hospi- 
talities of relatives who. lived quite near the Monument. 

Boston, Charlestown, Roxbury and Cambridge were full 
of people. 

The morning of the celebration opened gloriously and was 
greeted with the roar of artillery. The showers of the day before 
had laid the dust, the sun was bright, the air cool and delightful. 

In the early morning we took a walk to Hunker Hill, gazed 
with admiration at the newly completed monument, and noted the 
preparations making for the Dedication. Flags were waving in 
all directions, and most of the houses were decorated. 

After breakfast we walked over to Boston to see the dec- 
orations on the route of the procession, and to witness the assem- 
bling of the Military and other bodies on the Common. That 
famous pleasure-ground presented a very lively and holiday ap- 
pearance, and was crowded with well-dressed well-behaved 

A fine looking regiment from New York City was moving 
to take its place when we arrived, and its fine marching and the 


music of its splendid band, inspired the crowd with great 

We remained on the common a considerable part of the 
forenoon, and then returned to Charlestown, where our friends 

had secured for us a window in a house on Alain Street, from 
which to observe the procession, and, after dinner, we took our 
places and waited for it to pass. 

The streets were lined with thousands of well-dressed, 
orderly people, and every sitting and standing place was occupied. 

Soon the sound of music announced the approach of the 
procession, which was a grand and imposing pageant. 

The National Lancers, on noble horses, in their scarlet uni- 
forms, with Polish caps, and bearing their lances with red pen- 
nons, led the Military escort, and — as T remember them — seemed 
twice as numerous as they do now, and certainly ten times as 

They were followed by a large body of troops, including 
the regiment from New York City, which attracted great 

Then followed President John Tyler and his cabinet, with 
the exception of Mr. Legare. The president rode in an open 
barouche drawn by four wdiite horses, lie was bare-headed when 
he passed us, and gracefully and benignantly acknowledged the 
applause of the people as he passed through them. President 
Tyler was a tall, spare, scholarly looking man, and bore a strong 
resemblance to the pictures of the Duke of Wellington. He had 
a nose, the exact counter-part of that of the "Iron Duke." 

He was not popular, having seriously offended his own 
party, the Whigs, by his official action, and of course the demo- 
crats were not very enthusiastic over him — the "Tyler too" — 
of their terrible defeat of 1840. 

As I remember it, however, his reception was respectful 
and kindly, but in marked contrast to that of Mr. Webster, who 


was heartily cheered at all points. I shall never forget the im- 
pression made upon me, boy as I was, by my first sight of this 
great man. 

He was then in the prime of life, his form was erect and 
noble, his grand eyes looked forth from beneath a splendid brow; 
his dark face was lighted at times with a smile, and such a smile! 
Those who have seen it, will understand me ; no one else can — 
and his whole manner was impressive and noble. Boy as I was, 
I felt I was in the presence of a superior being. Mr. Webster 
had but recently resigned his position as Secretary of State in the 
Cabinet, and his successor, Mr. Legare, was then lying upon his 
death-bed at the Tremont House in Boston. 

Then followed a long procession of Civic organizations 
headed by bands of music, so long, indeed that I 'was weary at 
gazing at them. 

When the procession had passed, we hurried to the monu- 
ment in order to obtain a comfortable place from which to hear 
the exercises of dedication. We were fortunate in securing a 
good position in front of the speaking stand, which was placed on 
the north side of the hill, and some distance from, and below the 
level of the base of the monument, and gaily decked with flags. 
The crowd was immense but very orderly. Frothingham says 
that 100,000 persons were present. New England was a different 
place then from what it is now in the character of its popular 
assemblies. Some time elapsed, after our arrival, before the exer- 
cises began, and I remember I became very tired from standing, 
in the crowd and keeping close to my father's side. Besides the 
officers of the day, the President and Cabinet, Governor Morton 
and the Governor of Rhode Island, and other invited guests, there 
were seated on the platform, thirteen survivors of the battle, and 
among them Jona Harrington, who played the drum on that 
memorable morning of April 19th, 1775 when the minute men 
were marshaled on Lexington green. 


I cannot recall much of the exercises aside from the ora- 
tion. That performance, doubtless, so overshadowed and dimin- 
ished everything else, as to leave no impression on my memory. 

When Mr. Webster was introduced as the orator of the 
day, he was received with deafening shouts of applause, in which 
my father and myself joined lustily. My father was a democrat, 
but he was an ardent lover of his country, and a great admirer 
of Mr. Webster. Ah ! how grand he looked as he began that 
immortal oration ! The great assembly was hushed almost to 
silence, in eager waiting for the opening words. 

Turning his great eyes towards the completed Monument, 
standing before him in the garish light of the June day, extending 
his right hand towards it, with his face lighted up with a tri- 
umphant smile, in a noble impressiveness of tone; he spoke the 
words so familiar to us all : 

"A duty has been performed, a work of gratitude and patriot- 
ism completed. This structure having its foundation in soil 
which drank deep of early Revolutionary blood, has at length 
reached its destined height, and now lifts its summit to the 

Portions of his oration I recall as Air. Webster delivered 
them, and more particularly that in which he presented his cele- 
brated analysis of the character of Washington. 

I can remember the triumphant manner in which he spoke 
the closing words: "I claim him for America. In all her perils, 
in every darkened moment of the state, amid the reproaches of 
enemies and the misgiving of friends, I turn to that transcendent 
name for courage and consolation." 

I remember how many men about me sobbed with emotion, 
as he uttered these words. 

The conclusion of this portion was greeted by a burst of 
admiring applause on the part of the great assembly. 

When Mr. Webster had finished, my father looked down 
upon me, and said with eyes filled, as I remember, with tears of 



emotion, "Well, — What do you think of that? Do you wonder 
they call him "the god-like?" 

During the delivery of the oration, a staging on the left 
of the stand broke down from the great number of persons sitting 
upon and clinging to it, and occasioned for a few moments some 

As Mr. Webster drove away from Bunker Hill, he stood 
up in the carriage and acknowledged the plaudits of the thous- 
ands who surrounded it. Boy fashion, I swung my hat, and 
shouted with the crowd. 

My next sight of Mr. Webster was had at the trial of Wil- 
liam Wyman in this city, in the fall of the same year. Wyman 
was President of the Phoenix Bank, Charlestown, and with his 
cashier, Thomas Brown, Jr., was indicted for embezzling the 
funds of the bank to the amount of $300,000 dollars, a large 
amount of money in those days, at the June Term of the Court 
of Common Pleas, held I think in Concord, which was then one 
of the shire towns of Middlesex County. Both were tried, Brown 
was acquitted, the jury disagreed over Wyman, and were dis- 

The case of Wyman came on for trial before a new judge 
and jury, at the October Term of the Court of Common Pleas 
held in this city in 1843. 

Considering the eminence of the counsel engaged, the large 
amount of money embezzled, which I believe was the ruin of a 
number of stockholders, the social and business prominence of the 
accused, and the fact that it was one of the first, perhaps the very 
first case of the kind brought before our courts, this Wyman trial 
was one of the most important cases ever tried in Lowell. How- 
ever common this crime may be in our day, (and it is certainly 
unpleasantly frequent) in those days it was not common. It ex- 
cited great interest in the community, and I can recall it not only 
as a newspaper topic, but it was the common talk of the street, 
the shop, the office, and the home. • 


The application of the then existing laws of embezzlement 

to the facts presented in this case, was the problem which pre- 
sented itself for solution, and it may readily be seen that both 
court and counsel were called upon to proceed with great care 
and caution into a comparatively untravelled region of enquiry. 
Embezzlement is not a common law offence, but merely (me of 
statute, and did not take its place in the English code until as late 
as the 39 of Geo. 3, and our statues are framed from this act, 
and others auxiliary thereto. Mow far, if at all, these provisions, 
which had been codified by the Commissioners on Revision, were 
applicable to the officers of ]>anks, was the question involved. 

I was present at this trial in company with my father, and 
in some way we obtained seats in the rear portion of the bar. The 
court room was the same now occupied by the Police Court, the 
bench being then on the westerly, instead of the easterly side as 
now. judge Charles Allen presided, wearing, I remember, a pair 
of blue glass spectacles. The Commonwealth was represented by 
District Attorneys Asahel Huntington and Daniel Wells, of the 
Northern and Western Districts, respectively, and by Rufus 
Choate ; Wyman by Daniel Webster and Franklin Dexter, the lat- 
ter a very tall spare bushy headed aristocratic looking gentleman, 
wearing a pair of gold bowed spectacles. 

The court room was crowded long before the opening of 
court, a large number of ladies being of the number, and the 
audience was in a fever of expectancy awaiting the entrance of 
the two great lawyers, Webster and Choate. While waiting for 
the opening of court an amusing incident occurred which caused 
a laugh. The bar was crowded with lawyers, and seated near 
the middle of it was an old gentleman who wore a greyish brown 
wig. In crowding by him, some one, with his elbow rubbed this 
wig out of place, over the old gentleman's eyes, exposing his bald 
head, at which he was greatly wroth, and glared around at the 
offender, and manifested his indignation in a very amusing way, 
as he adjusted the wig into place. 


I can well recall the sensation which was created as the 
door opened and the grand figure of Air. Webster entered, clothed 
in a brown dress coat, with brass buttons, blue satin vest, black 
stock, high dickey, dark trousers, and polished boots and passed 
to the table at which he sat during the trial. Mr. Choate came 
next, and soon Sheriff Chandler ushered in the Court. As soon 
as the judge was seated, Crier Parker made the usual proclama- 
tion, and the trial proceeded. 

Daniel Wells of Greenfield, who was, as I have said, Dis- 
trict Attorney of the Western District, the year following, was 
appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, succeed- 
ing Judge John Mason Williams. He resigned in 1854, and died 
the same year. I recall this little incident during the trial. The 
court room was crowded during the trial with ladies and gentle- 
men, the jury seats on the left of the bench being occupied ex- 
clusively by the ladies. The defendant Wyman was a sleek 
looking, smooth faced, black haired, (which hair was worn in 
"soap locks" as they were called), genteely dressed man, about 
forty years of age. His personal appearance was decidedly pre- 
possessing, and he was said to be much in favor with the ladies, 
and won their sympathy at the trial. District Attorney Wells in 
opening the case to the jury, after stating the nature of the crime 
and what the Commonwealth expected to prove, said that he 
hoped and expected the jury would pass upon the guilt or inno- 
cence of the defendant without fear, favor or prejudice, and added 
that the Commonwealth was to be congratulated that the case was 
to be heard by the jury before him, rather than by the jury occu- 
pying seats on the opposite side, at the same time turning around 
and waving his hand in that direction. This sly allusion to what 
were thought to be the sentiments entertained by the female por- 
tion of the community in favor of Wyman, caused a little laugh, 
which was promptly suppressed by the rap of General Samuel 
Chandler, High Sheriff, who sat behind an elevated desk, on the 
corner of which was inserted, his sword of sta'te, without which 


with his brass buttoned coat and tipstaff poles, any trial would in 
those days have been irregular and incomplete. 

By the way, General Chandler was a fine looking man, and 
was an ensign in the war of 1812, participating in two severe 
engagements on the Canadian frontier. lie was afterwards Ma- 
jor General of the Massachusetts Militia. He died in 1867. 

I recall another incident of the trial. One of the bank 
directors was under cross-examination, — a highly respectable 
looking person, who while testifying, nervously handled a pair of 
gold bowed spectacles. His face wore a continual smile, and at 
one time in giving his testimony, he laughed outright. "What 
are you laughing at, sir? demanded Mr. Webster in his deepest 
and sternest tones. "Can you not testify without laughing?" 
"This is not the time or place for laughter, sir." Judge Allen 
turned around in his chair and looked at the witness through the 
blue glasses, but said nothing. The poor bank director seemed 
ready to hide himself in his boots, and his face, during the re- 
mainder of his examination, wore a pensive and thoughtful ex- 
pression. He did not even smile again. I remember that I 
pitied him. 

It was during this trial that the famous passage occurred 
between Judge Allen and Mr. Webster, which is well told in Cow- 
ley's History of Lowell. Also the good natured dispute (of which 
the audience in the court room had no knowledge) between Web- 
ster and Choate over a quotation from Pope's splendid but wicked 
and vitriolic satire Dunciad, which being settled against Mr. 
Webster by the production of a copy of Pope, Mr. Webster wrote 
on a fly leaf of the volume, "Spurious edition of Pope, — Daniel 
Webster." I wonder where that volume is now ; I hope some 
one preserves it. 

These were the lines as given in Mr. Cowley's History: 

"So, where Meotis sleeps, and hardly flows, 
The freezing Tanais through a waste of snows." 


May I for a few moments speak of this incident? How 
did this quotation come into the mind of .Mr. Webster on 
this occasion? Mr. Cowley says it "was while engaged in 
some by-play with Choate." No doubt, but why these lines from 
Pope. Did they come to him as the musical couplets of Pope's he- 
roic measures will come to those familiar with them, spontaneous- 
ly, in their truth and exquisite rhythm, like an old song or melody, 
which stands ready to spring to the lips without any apparent 
cause or suggestion, or was it called forth by their resemblance to 
some supposed condition or feature of the case on trial ? 

The lines are in classic dress — as Pope usually wrote, but 
they are merely descriptive. They do not contain a concise apor- 
thegm, sententious precept, or exalted sentiment, as Pope's coup- 
lets usually do. They simply refer to the quiet inland sea of 
Azof, and to the sluggish flow of the river Don* into the sea from 
the cold regions of Russia "through its frozen wastes." They 
are smoothly and musically and poetically climatic and geo- 
graphic, nothing more. 

May there not have been some feature of the cause on trial 
which suggested them? I have talked with some old members 
of the bar about the trial, and they say that, at times, the trial 
seemed to drag, and that court and counsel were all out of sound- 
ings on the law. Mr. Webster may have thought the course of 
the trial was like that of "the freezing Tanais through a waste 
of snow." 

Well, we never can know. 

One thing this little incident suggests which is, that the 

old poets of the Classic Age of English poetry, as it is called, 

were much more familiar to educated men, and their writings 

entered more extensively into the college curriculum of English 

literature, seventy years ago, than at present. Pope, Dryden, 

Milton, Addison, Swift, and the others, were more in evidence 

at Dartmouth in the days of Webster and Choate than they are 


*'Tanais" is the ancient name of the Don. 


today. Scott, Campbell, Tennyson, Browning, Bryant, Emer- 
son, Longfellow, and even Walt Whitman, had not begun to "roll 
their eyes in a fine frenzy" when Webster and Choate were at 

I did not hear Mr. Webster's argument to the jury, but I 
heard him argue with Mr. Choate, a question on the admission 
of certain evidence, as my father told me. Of course I did not 
comprehend one Word of the argument, but I remember I was 
with Webster all the same. 

The result of the trial was that the jury convicted Wyman, 
his counsel took exceptions to the rulings of Judge Allen which 
were argued before the Supreme Court. 

The case was reported in 8 Metcalf, P. 247, and is very 
interesting reading. The opinion given by Judge Hubbard, then 
of the Supreme bench, sustained Webster on one point onlv of 
the three presented. 

This decision was made at the October Term of the Su- 
preme Court of 1844, and the next General Court remedied the 
defect which this trial revealed, and in 1846 strengthened their 
work; so that if Wyman had been tried under present law, he 
would not have escaped the punishment he no doubt richly 

I next heard Mr. Webster at the time of the delivery of 
his famous speech in Faneuil Hall on October 24th, during the 
presidential campaign' of 1848, when General Taylor was the 
whig candidate, and of whose condidacy Mr. Webster at the time 
it was announced, said that "it was not fit to be made." The 
speech was made in the afternoon. The old hall was crowded with 
the solid men of Boston, anxious and also curious to know, in view 
of what Webster had said, how he stood in supporting the can- 
didate — "old Rough and Ready,' 5 as he was called. 

I was fortunate in securing a place very near him when he 
spoke. On the platform were assembled a large number of the 
"solid men of Boston," among them the venerable Colonel Thomas 


Handyeside Perkins, who wore his hair in a queue. Mr. Web- 
ster was introduced by Rufus Clioate, who presided, in a speech 
of great brilliancy, which fairly electrified the great audience. 

When Mr. Webster came forward, it was some time before 
he could begin, such was the enthusiasm of his welcome. When 
the applause ceased, a silence fell upon the audience so deep, that 
one could almost have heard a pin drop. Then came the opening 
words: "Once again, friends and fellow citizens, once again, and 
quite unexpectedly, I find myself in Faneuil I fall." Here he 
paused. Then turning his great solemn eyes to the portraits of 
the sages and patriots which hung about him, he proceeded with 
deep emotion, "And I feel all the recollections of the past gather- 
ing around me ; I hear a thousand voices silent elsewhere, but 
always speaking here, admonishing me, admonishing you, who do 
me the honor to be here, to perform the whole duty which we 
owe to our country." The speech occupied about an hour, as I 
recollect, and I remember that during a portion of it, which was 
almost conversational in its character, he took out his pocket 
handkerchief and played with it, taking it by the corners and re- 
volving it with both hands as he spoke. Occasionally he would 
pause at the close of some sarcasm, and his dark face would light 
up with that marvellous smile, so full of meaning, so suggestive 
of much more than was spoken, that the great audience would 
break into applause, and it would be a full half minute before he 
could proceed. 

My next meeting with Mr. Webster was under somewhat 
peculiar circumstances. It was, if my memory serves me right, 
in the fall of 185 1, about a year before his death. I was return- 
ing to my home in the early evening, and had reached a point in 
Middlesex Street near the residence of Mrs. Samuel Tyler, in 
Middlesex Village, when I heard the noise of a railroad train 
coming from the north. Suddenly I heard a crash — the noise of 
the moving train ceased, and I heard the sound of escaping steam. 
Knowing an accident had occurred, I ran up the street, — (I could 


run then) and across the intervale to the scene of what I found 
was a serious accident. A drove of oxen, to the number of six 
or eight, which had been pastured in the field between the rail- 
road and river, just off the then location of Woodworth's saw- 
mill, had in some manner found their way out of the pasture, 
and were proceeding up the railroad, just as the train from the 
north was rushing down at the rate of thirty miles an hour. The 
oxen were encountered, the engine and tender thrown off the 
track, down the embankment, where the forward wheels were 
nearly buried in the soft soil of the intervale. The forward car, 
which was a baggage car, was thrown upon its side across the 
track; the second car had its forward trucks pushed back nearly 
to the rear ones, while the car itself rested upon the body of a 
large ox, which prevented it from going down the' embankment. 
The rear car alone remained upon the track. I entered the for- 
ward passenger car, and found that no one in that car had been 
seriously injured, although all had been badly shaken up, and 
thoroughly frightened. From the first I proceeded to the second 
passenger car, in which there were only a few persons. Abput 
the center of the car I saw a man engaged in rubbing the bare 
foot and ankle of an elderly gentleman, and naturally thinking 
he had been injured by the accident, I enquired if such was the 
fact. The old gentleman looked into my face when I enquired, 
and I saw before me — Daniel Webster. "Oh no, said he "I was 
not injured by the accident, but, young man, can you tell if any 
one was injured." I replied that I believed no one was seriously 
hurt. "Thank heaven," said he, "what a wonderful escape !" 
The attendant was all this time rubbing his foot and ankle, and 
he appeared to suffer some pain. At last he said, "Oh camphor! 
camphor! camphor,! what a blessing is camphor! Then address- 
ing me he said, "young man, did you ever see a camphor tree?" 
I replied that I never had seen one. "I have seen them growing 
in Georgia," said he, "they have them in Georgia." 


In a few minutes it was announced that the passengers 
were to leave the disabled cars, and walk down the track a short 
distance to take a train which had been backed up from Lowell. 
As Mr. Webster left the train he appeared to walk with difficulty. 
As he passed the broken cars he manifested a good deal of curi- 
osity to see the extent of the accident, and made some further 
remarks upon it, which I cannot now recall. Walking slowly, 
and feebly, he reached the waiting train, was assisted into the car 
by his attendant, and proceeded on his journey to Marshfield, 
whither he was journeying from his Franklin farm in New 
Hampshire. I had not reached my twentieth year at the time of 
this interview. 

Some persons have persuaded themselves to believe that 
the oratorical, declamatory style of address used by Webster, 
Clay, Everett, Calhoun, Sumner and other giants of the past, has 
become obsolete and antiquated, and that the public mind of to- 
day fails to respond to this style of appeal. That the style of 
address of public men in Congress has changed within the past 
thirty or forty years is doubtless true ; but that the people in their 
popular assemblies are not to be aroused by eloquence in speech 
and grace in delivery as much as in the old days, I do not believe. 
Give the people Websters, Clays, Choates, Everetts, Calhouns and 
Sumners to address them and we shall have no more of this sort 
of talk. 

List of Papers read before the Society in 1906. 

Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, in Observance of 
Lincoln's Birthday. Annual meeting', February 14, 1906. Hon. 
Samuel P. Hadley spoke of Lincoln's visit to Lowell while a mem- 
ber of Congress from Illinois; Mr. Albert L. Bacheller gave in- 
cidents in the life of Lincoln and exhibited certain relics and 
letters; and remarks were made by Messrs. George B. Coburn, 
Solon W. Stevens, John A. Bailey, and others. 

"The Manning Manse in Billerica." By Mrs. Amasa How- 
ard, Chelmsford. Read by Alfred P. Sawyer, Esq., May 9, 1906. 

"Capt. John Ford." By Miss Josephine H. Earle. Read 
May 9, 1906. 

''Rambles Abroad." By Rev. A. St. John Chambre, D. 
D. Read October 10, 1906. 

"Some Reminiscences of Daniel Webster." By Hon. 

Samuel P. Hadley. Read December 12, 1906. 

. "General Cass, and his Oration in Tammany Hall." By 
Hon. Samuel P. Hadley. Read December 12, 1906. 

Annual Report of the Executive Committee for 1906-07. 
Prepared and read by Solon W, Stevens, Esq., Pres- 
ident, February 13, 1907. 

We have reached the close of another year in the existence 
of the Lowell Historical Society. The customary Report of its 
doings must necessarily be very brief. Four meetings have been 
held at each of which in addition to the regular business of the 
evening, some informal talk has been given by some few of our 
members in some reminiscent and historical vein which in every 
case has proved interesting and instructive, and led to the often 
repeated inquiry as to the reason why the attendance of our meet- 
ings is not larger. For instance, at the last annual meeting there 
was an informal talk reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln and his 
early visit to Lowell, suggested by an address given by the Hon. 
Samuel P. Hadley. At the meeting in October the Rev. A. St. 
John Chambre gave a very interesting address on "Rambles 
abroad," it being substantially the story of reflections aroused in 
the mind of the speaker by interesting sights and experiences 
during his recent visit to Europe. And on the evening of Decem- 
ber 1 2th, the Lion. Samuel P. Hadley addressed the society on 
"Some Reminiscences of Daniel Webster." At each of these 
meetings after the principal speaker had finished, the subject was 
discussed informally by several other members, and in this way 
•much interesting information was given which intelligent people 
will try to remember. 

If the attendance is surprisingly meagre on such occasions 
as these, if it be thought that such experience is not ample com- 
pensation for the annual dues required, would it not be well to 
remember that the ideas for which this Society stands are such 
as to respond to the tastes of but comparatively few of our people, 
that those who attend these meetings do so purely and simply for 
the love of the work in which we are engaged, and that if others 
whom we would naturally suppose would sympathize with our 
aims do not choose to co-operate with us, the loss is their own, 
and that they voluntarily exclude themselves from giving encour- 

ANNUAL REPORT, I906-1907 157 

agement to a work which loyalty to the history of the city of their 
residence ought seemingly to prompt them to zealously maintain. 

This organization stands for opportunities and privileges 
of collecting and preserving facts, written documents, and tradi- 
tional evidence relating to the city of Lowell and surrounding 
towns. It offers a field for work congenial to the student, the 
antiquarian, and the writer. It is in the indulgence of tastes 
along the line of personal interest in historical research, and in 
literary expression of the result thereof, that the "quid pro quo" 
is to be found if return is desired for a small subscription fee. 
Our work is not publicly displayed, except as occasion demands 
it and we do not care for such display. The people of Lowell 
know of our existence, and we are glad of sympathy and congen- 
ial support and we are glad to state that during the past year 
there have been unmistakable signs of a growing interest in this 
Society on the part of thoughtful people in our midst, all of which 
is very gratifying. By persistent, patient labor on our part, we 
shall be entitled to feel that in loyalty to the history of our city 
we are collecting and preserving valuable, yes, priceless material, 
which sometime will be confidently regarded as the only basis of 
truth on which the history of Lowell can possibly be written. 
This is our pleasurable task and in its faithful execution rests the 
hope of reward. 

In this connection your attention is invited to the report of 
the committee having in charge the matter of awarding prizes to 
certain High School scholars who shall write the best historical 
essays upon certain assigned subjects relating to local affairs. It 
will thus be seen that in this way we are endeavoring to bring the 
young people into sympathy and co-operation with the objects to 
be attained by this Society. 

During the year now reaching its close we have lost four 
of our members by death. It is possible there may have been 
others but the following are those to whom attention has been 



Mr. Henry S. Perham of Chelmsford died at Daytona 
Beach, Florida, whither he had gone in the hope of regaining his 
health, on February 25, 1906. He was the son of the late Deacon 
David Perham and was born upon the farm where he lived sixty- 
two years ago, and where with the exception of a few years, when 
he lived in Salem, New Hampshire, he had always made his home. 
He was of the seventh generation of Perhams to occupy this farm. 
For a little while in his younger days he was a pupil in the West- 
ford Academy, while Hon. John I). Long was its principal. He 
was a veteran of the civil war, served as corporal in company K, 
Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, and as corporal in Company B, 
Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Mr. Perham had a strong partiality for historical studies. 
At the time of his decease he was engaged in writing the history 
of the town of Chelmsford. During the days of the recent cele- 
bration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the town 
of Chelmsford, Mr. Perham delivered an historical address of un- 
usual interest. He was greatly interested in public offairs. He 
was a member of Post 185, G. A. R., the Chelmsford Veterans 
Association, Company K. Associates, the State Board of Agricul- 
ture, Old Middlesex Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, 
and the Lowell Historical Society. He was a man of rare ability 
in many respects. He will be greatly missed where he was known 
because of his ability, his integrity, and his genial ways. 

Mr. Edwin B. Caldwell, who died in Draciit on the 29th 
day of July, 1906, at the age of seventy-three years, is recorded 
as a member of this Society. 

He was but little known. He served as civilian boat- 
builder with General Butler's expedition at Ship Island, in the 
time of the civil war, and was master-mechanic at the Lowell 
Hosiery for many years. He was afterwards employee] in the 
Lowell Machine Shop Company and was in the employ of this 
Company at the time of his death. 


ANNUAL REPORT, I906-I907 159 

Mr. Frederick Warren Baker died at his home on Myrtle 
Street, on January 26, 1907, at the age of seventy-seven years, 
five months and twenty-one days. Mr. Raker was born in Salis- 
bury, Massachusetts, and came to Lowell in 1843. He was em- 
ployed in the repair shop of the Merrimack Manufacturing Com- 
pany previous to i860, and during the Civil War and subsequently 
he held an important position in the navy yard at Charlestown. 
Me was acting Assistant Engineer in the United States Navy. 
He was for many years the victim of impaired health. He was 
a descendant of Puritan stock, counting among his ancestors Mr. 
John Baker of Norwich, England, who settled in Ipswich, Massa- 
chusetts, in 1637. Of those who survive him, besides his wife, 
the three children, Mr. Frank Leslie Baker of the staff of the 
New York Herald, Miss Adelaide Baker, a teacher in the Lowell 
High School, and Miss Amy Baker, who resides with her brother 
in New York, are well known among Lowell people. Mr. Baker 
will be remembered always as a man of strong character, intel- 
ligent, refined, and highly respected as an upright citizen. 

Mr. Henry Morrill Ordway died at the age of eighty-two 
years, at his home on Nesmith Street, on Thursday, February 7. 
1907. Mr. Ordway was born in Concord, New Hampshire on 
the 8th of April, 1825. He was of English ancestry and a des- 
cendant of Mr. James Ordway, the first of the Ordway family to 
come to this country, somewhere between 1625 and 1641. The 
great grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Mr. Jeremiah 
Ordway of Amesbury, Massachusetts, was a physician by pro- 
fession. He formed and equipped a company for the battle of 
Bunker Hill, and the grandfather of Mr. Henry M. Ordway on 
the mother's side, Mr. Jacob B. Currier, also was a loyal fighter 
in that battle, which facts go to show that our deceased associate 
came of American Revolutionary stock. 

Mr. Ordway was long known in Lowell as a prominent 



He was always active in church affairs, and he will long 
be remembered as an enterprising citizen, an upright man and a 
reliable friend. 

Hon. George A. Marden died at his home on Fairmount 
Street, on the 19th of December, 1906, at the age of sixty-seven 
years, four months and ten days. He was born in Mount Ver- 
non, New Hampshire. He was educated in the schools of his 
native town and in 1857 entered Dartmouth College where lie 
graduated in 1861. This is not the proper place to attempt any 
detailed account of the incidents in his career. He was known 
and loved as a journalist, a scholar, a soldier, a fascinating public 
speaker, a legislator, a speaker of the House of Representatives 
of Massachusetts, and assistant Treasurer of the United States. 
In addition he held many positions of trust both of a private, and 
a semi-public nature. He filled a large space in the history of the 
time in which he lived. He was a man of great versatility, of 
strong mental calibre, and of marked executive ability. He was 
generous, sociable, and always willing to give a helping hand 
when help was needed. 

For more than a quarter of a century he was identified 
with the Daily Courier in all the various changes of title which 
that paper has assumed. He had the gift of literary expression, 
he was a master of terse, vivid English, and at times could wield 
the pen of a poet in lines which had a humorous and a pathetic 
meaning. He was one of Lowell's most distinguished citizens 
during the last cmarter of a century. Some of us who knew him 
will miss him more than words can express. 

He died in the prime of life, leaving behind tender mem- 
ories, as a sincere friend, an influential public man, a man of spot- 
less character, and a quiet gentleman. 

We are about to commence another year of experience in 
our peculiar line of work. In grateful remembrance of those 
whose absence causes sorrow, and with confidence in the helpful- 
ness of our labor for others, let us with renewed zeal strive for 

ANNUAL REPORT, I906-I907 l6l 

greater success than any which has yet crowned our efforts. We 
are not only students of local history, we are makers of history 
as well, and let us feel that it is our province to keep in touch with 
current events as truly as to cultivate an acquaintance with the 
past. In this way we may feel that we are doing something to- 
ward gathering data which may some day be the basis of a his- 
tory of Lowell of which no one need be ashamed. 


Lowell High School Historical Essays, 1907. 

The Lowell Historical Society announced as the subject 
for the Lowell High School Prize Essays, "The Concord River 
in History and Literature," and a neatly printed notice of the sub- 
ject and the terms and conditions of competition was sent to each 
member of the graduation class. The committee of Judges ap- 
pointed by the society were Rev. Charles T. Billings, Miss Mabel 
Hill, and James F. Savage, Esq. They awarded the first prize 
of $10 in gold to the writer of the essay signed "Montague," and 
the second prize of $5 in gold to the writer of the essay signed 
"N. L.," and Misses Edith C. Erskine and Annie Louise Naylor, 
who wrote under these pen-names, became the recipients of the 
prizes which were presented to them with appropriate remarks by 
Judge Samuel P. Hadley in behalf of the society, as a part of the 
graduating exercises of the class of 1907. 

In the last report of the committee having this matter in 
charge they state that they are "advised that there appears to be 
an increased interest in the school in these prizes which we offer 
and in the work necessary to prepare the essays, and if such shall 
prove to be the case we should make them an annual event, for 
the Lowell High School is an institution of which we may well be 
proud. Its work is efficient, its pupils far outnumber those of 
many of our colleges, and with its many courses and departments 
of study it is in fact our City University. To these courses of 
study the Lowell Historical Society in reality offers another, — 
optional however and entirely outside of the school curriculum — 
the study of local history. The essays which may be prepared for 
this competition not only represent the laudable ambition of the 
writers to win the prizes offered by our society, but they reflect 
to a certain extent the work done and the mental discipline and 
training acquired during the school course, as well as the ability 
to clothe with proper language the results of th^ study and re- 


search necessary in the preparation of the essays. We therefore 
feel that we are not merely complying' with one of the provisions 
of our incorporation, — "of encouraging the study of local his- 
tory," — but that we are adding to the efficiency of the school by 
the incentive we offer for the work. 

The Prize Essays are herewith published. 

Lowell High School Historical Essay awarded the Low- 
ell Historical Society's First Prize of $io in cold. 
By Miss Edith C. Erskine, of the Class of 1907. 

The Concord River in History and Literature 

The Concord River, or the Musketaquid, grass-grown, 
River, as it was called by the Indians, first took its place in civi- 
lized history when the fame of its grassy meadows and many 
salmon attracted settlers from England in 1635. It was then for 
the first time called Concord from the name of the first settlement 
on its banks. Since that time it has been celebrated both in the 
pages of onr history, and in the writings of our poets. 

The river is formed by the joining of the Assabet and Sud- 
bury rivers, in the southern part of Hopkinton, whence it loiters 
through green meadows, under low browed hills, and by delight- 
ful woods, until it creeps under a score of bridges in Lowell, to 
meet that larger and swifter stream, the Merrimack. 

Thoreau says, 'The white man has come with a list of 
ancient Saxon, Norman, and Celtic names, and strewn them up 
and down this river, Framingham, Bedford, Carlisle, Billerica, 

The town of Concord, in which the river proper really 
rises, has perhaps, done the most to make it famous. By its banks 
in early times the Apostle Eliot preached among the Indians. 
Around this town the dread Indian wars and massacres raged. 
Here the colonists held their first provincial congress in 1774. 
Here, too, in this little town, beside the banks of this quiet river, 
was fought the first battle of the American Revolution, which 
marked the beginning of the history of our land as a free nation. 

It is perhaps this event which gives the Concord River its 
greatest historic renown. The name Concord itself, instantly sug- 
gests a picture of that night, when Paul Revere took his famous 
ride, and dashed through the town, with the news that startled all 
to action; a picture, too, of the haughty redcoats fleeing in con- 
fusion before the brave and determined attack of the colonists, in 

L. II. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, I907 l6$ 

their rough, gray homespun. Many years after, Emerson wrote 
in commemoration of that battle, the stirring lines: 

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard 'round the world. 
The foe long since in silence slept ; 
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; 
And time the ruined bridge has swept 
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps." 

Besides its historic interest, the town of Concord is noted 
for its famous people : - Emerson, the philosopher and poet ; Tho- 
reau, the great naturalist and writer; Hawthorne, with his magic 
pen ; Channing, the historian ; Agassiz, the geologist ; Miss Alcott, 
loved by all children for her enchanting stories ; Margaret Fuller ; 
and Mrs. Ripley, who listened over her peapods to the men who 
came to seek her sympathy and inspiration. And all of these have 
added a word in praise of their beloved Indian Musketaquid. 

Emerson said, when he decided to make his summer home 
in Concord, that he had not realized, "the indescribable luxury of 
our Indian river, which gives all summer access to enchantments, 
new every day." He has also written two poems dedicated to the 
river, in one of which he says : 

"I bathe in the morn's soft and silvered air, 
And loiter willing by yon loitering stream." 

Thoreau gives us a picture of the beauties of the peaceful 
river, in a book, telling of a fascinating week spent on its waters, 
and in Hawthorne's magic descriptions "the gentle river," has 
not been forgotten. 

In the records of the town, is found another tribute to its 
varied charms, in the law that no apprentice shall be compelled 
to eat salmon more than five days in the week. 

Mr. Alcott says, "The river runs slowly because it hates 
to leave Concord." At last, however, it does turn from this fas- 
cinating old town, and gently flows through the, green meadows 
to Bt-diord. 


According to an old saying — "A rib was taken off Bille- 
rica to make Bedford." The town of Bedford really began when 
Gov. Winthrop and Deputy Gov. Dudley selected this spot for 
their thousand acre grants from the King. The Governor, in his 
Journal, tells us that, as they sailed down the Concord River 
from Billerica, they made up a little tiff on the way, and finally 
exchanged a friendly handshake over the Two Brother's Rocks. 
These are twin rocks in the river, dividing the two farms, and so 
named to indicate the friendly relations between the owners. In 
this town, one may still see the great Wilson oak, where the 
Minute-Men assembled on the 19th of April to march to Concord. 
In the library is an interesting flag, which, sent over from Eng- 
land a century before, was taken from the garret of the Page 
homestead to answer the Lexington alarm. 

Then on the river flows until there appears the churchspire 
of Carlisle, "the city of the woods," which seems to have been 
set apart as a place of rest, yet which in the stormy times of the 
Revolution, was not behind its sister towns in loyalty and devo- 
tion. Next comes the old gray town of Billerica, which, with its 
elms and mighty oak, rivals Concord in historic interest. The 
ancient "Billerickey" from the English Billericay, declared by the 
records of 1661, a hopeful plantation, extended from Cambridge 
to the mouth of the Concord, and inclosed a greater part of 

In 1658 there are records of a great bridge built over the 
Concord near the Fordway in Billerica, and also of grist mills, 
where the early colonists took their corn to be ground. Naturally 
this town, situated so near the colony of Salem, did not escape 
the witchcraft terror. "Stories of sorcery and midnight carousals 
filled with terror the simple and imaginative country folk." There 
were those who declared that they had seen the forms of witches, 
crossing and recrossing the Concord from the old tumble-down 
mill, which was supposed to have been a favorite gathering place 
of these witches. In the latter part of the eighteenth century its 

L. H. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, I907 1 67 

bustling taverns and rumbling stages were many and noted. Nei- 
ther did this town escape the Indian massacres. 

Billerica has been known also as a literary centre. Among 
her names of distinction are Gov. Talbot of Massachusetts, Gov. 
Stearns of New Hampshire, Miss Peabody, and Rev. Minot J. 

From Billerica the river flows through an unbroken stretch 
of four miles to Lowell, where it "falleth into the Merrimack 
River." Near the falls of the river at this junction, in olden 
times, lived the Wamesit Indians, a brother tribe of the Pawtuck- 
ets, who had their camp-fires on the banks of the Merrimack. 
Here, too, the Apostle Eliot followed them, "to spread the net of 
the Gospel and fish for their souls." Now, where once mocca- 
sined feet softly trod green meadows, hurry the throngs of a busy 
city, and where once floated the smoke of Indian camp fires, now 
rises the smoke of humming factories. 

Although Lowell is associated more closely with the Mer- 
rimack river, yet the Concord, quietly stealing through its busy 
streets, deserves some of its fame. Lucy Larcom, daughter of 
the forests, might well have said of the Concord, as she did of 
the Merrimack : 

"River of inspiration sweet." 

Some one has aptly said, "a river is a musical poem. Like 
the strains of an orchestra its various streams unite and pour for- 
ward in rythmic melody." 

So, down through the long pages of our history has come 
the Concord, noted for the valiant men who gave their lives to 
defend it, and for the poets to whom it has been an inspiration, 
and who have rejoiced to give it honor and praise. 

Whittier, the gentle Quaker poet, although not living on 
the river himself, has written some of the most beautiful lines 
about it. 

1 1 



"Close beside the meeting waters, 
Long I stood, as in a dream, 
Watching how the little river 
Fell into the broader stream. 
Calm and still the mingled current, 
Glided to the waiting sea ; 
On its breast serenely pictured 
Floating cloud and skirting tree." 

Lowell High School Historical Essay awarded the Lowell 
Historical Society's Second Prize of $5 in cold. By 
Miss Annie Louise Naylor, of the Class of 1907. 

The Concord River in History and Literature 

"Would you know what joy is hid 
In our green Musketaquid, 
And for travelled eyes what eharms 
Draw us to these meadow farms, 
Come and I will show you all 
Makes each day a festival. 
Stand upon this pasture hill, 
Face the eastern star until 
The slow eye of heaven shall show 
The world ahove, the world helow." 

Thoreau, who was probably the greatest American natural- 
ist, says in his "Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" : 
"The Musketaquid, or grass-ground river, though probably as old 
as the Nile or Euphrates, did not begin to have a place in civilized 
history until the fame of its grassy meadows and its fish attracted 
settlers out of England in 1635, when it received the other but 
kindred name of Concord from its plantation on its banks. It will 
be grass-ground river as long as grass grows and water runs 
here ; it will be Concord River only while men lead peaceable lives 
on its banks." 

The author of a "Boating Trip on New England Rivers" 
tells us: ''The Sudbury River seems to rise in two rivulets, one 
of these flows from Whitehall Pond in Hopkinton ; the other, be- 
ginning from an indeterminate place in Westborough, joins the 
Hopkinton branch just above Southville ; together they form the 
Sudbury which joins the Assabet at Egg Rock and forms the Con- 
cord." The river then flows northeasterly to Lowell where it 
empties into the Merrimack River. The same author speaks of 
the beautiful view from Billerica to Lowell looking down the Con- 
cord River valley. The Concord, which is a lazy sluggish river, 
flowing between low banks bordered by low-lying meadows is well 
described by Amos Bronson Alcott in "Concord Days" ; "It was 
these broad meadows beside the "Grass-Ground River" that temp- 
ted alike the white and redman — the one for pasture, the other for 


fishing — and brought the little colony through the wilderness to 
from the settlement named "Miisketaquid" after the river of that 
name (signifying grass-ground), and later taking that of Con- 
cord, not without note in history. 

"Beneath low hills, in the broad interval 
Through which at will our Indian rivulet 
Winds unmindful still of sannup and of squaw, 
Whose pipe and arrow oft the plough unburies; 
Mere, in pine house, built of new-fallen trees, 
Supplanter of the tribe, the planters dwelt." 

Mr. Alcott explains the sluggish current by saying; "The 
Concord runs slow because it hates to leave Concord." 

So many of our writers have come from Concord and been 
influenced by the river that it is mentioned by them in one or 
more of their writings. Ralph Waldo Emerson's description of 
his home in his "Essay on Nature" shows the common use of 
boating on the Concord as a recreation in the remark: "My house 
stands in low-land, with limited outlook, and on the skirt of the 
village. But I go with my friend to the shore of our little river 
and with one stroke of the paddle I leave the village and person- 
alities, yes, and the world of villagers and personalities behind, 
and pass into a delicate realm of sunset and moonlight, too bright 
almost for spotted man to enter without novitiate and probation." 

Mr. Alcott speaks often of the river in his works, while the 
river described by Louisa M. Alcott in "Little Women" and "Jack 
and Jill" is beyond a question the Concord. 

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "American Note Book" is full of 
references to the river, as he was living in the Old Manse at the 
time when part of the notes were written. Some of the prettiest 
selections are: "It comes creeping softly through the mid-most 
privacy and deepest heart of a wood which whispers it to be quiet 
while the stream whispers back again from its sedgy borders, as 
if river and wood were hushing one another to sleep. Yes, the 
river sleeps along its course and dreams of the sky and clustering 
foliage." "The banks of the river actually laughed when the 

L. H. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, KjO? 17* 

sunshine fell upon them ; and the river itself was alive and cheer- 
ful, it had swept away many wreaths of meadow-hay, and old 
rotten branches of trees, and all such trumpery." "The best as- 
pect of the Concord is when there is a northwestern breeze, curl- 
ing- its surface, in a bright, sunshiny day. It then assumes a 
vivacity not its own. Moonlight, also, gives it beauty, as it does 
to all scenery of earth and water." Again in speaking of the 
river as seen from the hill-top opposite his house he says: "It 
was visible through a course of two or three miles, sweeping in 
a semicircle around the hill on which I stood and being the cen- 
tral line of a broad vale on either side. At a distance, it looked 
like a strip of sky set into the earth, which was so etherialized 
and idealized that it seemed akin to the upper regions. Nearer 
the base of the hill I could descern the shadow of every tree and 
rock imaged with a distinctness that made them even more charm- 
ing than the reality." The Concord River runs into Margaret 
Sidney's "Little Maid of Concord Town" as it does into almost 
every book about the place. Mr. Stearns in his "Sketches of 
Concord and Appledore" has two pretty references to the river. 
He writes: "No doubt the sloping hillsides and the broad sunny 
plain with the sluggish river dinding through it looked very rest- 
ful to him after the rugged country through which he had pessed." 
"The Concord River with its grassy banks, picturesque bridges, 
and continual change of hill and meadow scenery is one of the 
prettiest that can be found anywhere." 

In his "Autobiography of Seventy Years" the late Senator 
Hoar writes : "The sluggish Concord River used to overflow its 
banks and cover the broad meadows for miles. The boys could 
skate for ten miles to Billerica and ten miles back, hardly going 
over deep water, except at the bridges." He concludes by quot- 
ing from Thomas Parker Sanborn : 

"When winter binds the river bright 
With hard and gleaming ice — a swift-forged chain — 
Even in that chill season 'tis delight 
To roam across that broad and glittering plain/ 


Or skim its surface, as the short clays wane, 
Gliding along with swift and steel-hound feet; — 
Truly the changes of the year are sweet." 

• George William Curtis describes the Concord flowing un- 
der its different bridges in his "Emerson" ; "Near the town, the 
river is crossed by three or four bridges. One is a massive struc- 
ture to help the railroad over. The stern, strong pile readily 
betrays that it is part of good solid stock owned in the right quar- 
ter. Close by it is a little arched stone bridge, auxiliary to a 
great road leading to some vague region of the world called Ac- 
ton upon guide posts and on maps. Just beyond these bridges 
the river bends and forgets the railroad, but is grateful to the 
graceful arch of the little stone bridge for making its curve more 
picturesque ; and as it muses toward the Old Manse, listlessly 
brushing the lilies, it wonders if Ellery Channing, who lives be- 
yond, wrote his poem of "The bridge" to that particular one." 

Frank B. Sanborn, today the authority on Concord history, 
writes in "A Concord Note Book": "I inherited Thoreau's river 
boat from Hawthorn, and kept it in repair for some years before 
it went to pieces." 

Some of the other poems which allude to the Concord are 
"The Dirge" and "The River" by Emerson, "Lines" by Lowell, 
while George Parsons refers to it in "Two Rivers" and Lothrop 
in "Fair Haven Bay." 

From Frank Preston Stearns "Sketches from Concord and 
Appledore" comes the description of the Concord River Valley 
region. From these heights one perceives beyond them an ir- 
regular line of pale blue mountains, of which Wachusett is the 
most southerly peak, and which is in fact a portion of the White 
Mountains extending through New Hampshire into northern 
Maine. The watershed between these two forms the valley of 
the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, which is the first military 
line of defence in New England, west of the sea coast. It is for 
this reason that the first struggle for American Independence 

L. II. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, 1907 173 

took place on the banks of the Concord River and not elsewhere. 
From this same book comes the interesting statement that the site 
of the Old Manse was formerly an Indian encampment as the 
sunny exposure and the fine landing place for their canoes attrac- 
ted them. Probably battles have been fought there and invading 
forces repelled on the very ground where the Americans later 
repulsed the British. As long as the United States endures the 
Concord will hold an important place in history ; for it was on its 
banks that the first important armed resistance to British tyranny 
was made for the possession of the Old North Bridge. Standing 
on the bridge and looking at the bronze Minute-man on one side, 
the older monument on the other, with the peaceful river flowing 
between them, and the beautiful bit of the old Carlisle Road, we 
are not surprised that Emerson could write the ringing words : 

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled; 
Here once the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard 'round the world. 
The foe long since in silence slept; 
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps ; 
And time the ruined bridge has swept 
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps." 

The two unknown British soldiers who were the first in- 
vaders to lose their lives are buried where they fell almost beside 
the "Grass-ground" River. This grave was the occasion of 
Lowell's writing one of the many poems mentioning the Concord 
River, while Emerson, our Washington in the field of literature, 
as Mr. Frank Sanborn calls him, wrote a poem called "In 

"Behold our river bank, 
Whither the angry farmers came 
In sloven dress and broken rank, — 

Nor thought of fame : 
Their deed of blood 
All mankind praise; 
Even the serene Reason says 

Tt was well done.' " 


The English troops tried to leave Boston without being 
seen but, as everyone knows, the alarm was given by Paul Revere 
and Dr. Samuel Prescott. Rev. William Emerson, Ralph Waldo 
Emerson's grandfather, wrote a very fine account of the prepara- 
tions for the reception of the British. He says in part: "In the 
meantime, the guard set by the enemy to secure the posts at the 
North Bridge were alarmed by the approach of our people, who 
had retreated, as mentioned before, and were now advancing, 
with special orders not to fire upon the troops unless fired upon. 
These orders were so punctually observed, that we received the 
fire of the enemy in three several and separate discharges of their 
pieces before it was returned by our commanding officer. The 
firing then soon became general for several minutes, in which 
skirmish two were killed on each side, and several of the enemy 
wounded. It may here be observed, by the way, that we were 
the more cautious to prevent beginning a rupture with the king's 
troops as we were then uncertain what had happened at Lexing- 
ton." This fine account was unknown until Ralph Waldo Emer- 
son found it among family papers when he was writing his cen- 
tennial address. 

Another interesting account of this battle is given in a 
letter to a friend written by Amos Barrett, then a young man of 
twenty-three and a participant in the fight, also a nephew of Col. 
James Barrett. This was the last time the banks of the Concord 
River have ever echoed to the feet of an invading foe. 

Turning from the story of war and bloodshed, let us leave 
the river with these peaceful words from Emerson : 

"Thy summer voice, Musketaquid, 
Repeats the music of the rain; 
But sweeter rivers pulsing flit 
Through thee, as thou through Concord Plain. 
Musketaquid, a goblin strong, 
Of shard and flint makes jewels gay; 
They lose their grief who hear his song, 
And where he winds is the day of day." it' 


of the 

Lowell Historical Society 

Organized, December 21, 1868 
Incorporated, May 21, 1902 

Vol. 1 No. 2 



Tis great/y^xh^c io Calk ivith ov*- pZ$tJioux&Z\ — Young 





Tin-: Manning Manse. By Mrs. Louise C. Howard. Read 
May 9, 1906. 

William Manning, the ancestor of this extensive family, 
came to America about the year 1634. 

He first settled at Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he re- 
mained only a few weeks, when he moved to Cambridge where 
his descendants have been represented ever since. 

About the year 1662 his grandson, Samuel Manning, 
went to Billerica and bought land of that town on the west side 
of the Concord River about two and one-quarter miles from the 
center village on the south side of the road to Chelmsford, and 
a quarter of a mile from the boundary line between the two 
towns, and in the year 1696 built the present house which is over 
200 years old. 

The homestead was of good size, as it needed to .be in that 
day of large families, and has always been considered a fine 

The location of the house is particularly attractive, being 
situated in a region of moderate hills and surrounded with many 
large shade trees overlooking what the founders of Billerica 
called the plain, with the front away from the road according to 
the old practice, which gave "southern exposure" to the front of 
the house no matter where the road was. The main part of the 
house is forty-one feet long and nineteen feet and five inches 
wide, while an annex or lean-to increases the width to thirty 
feet and seven inches. The roof descends sharply, so that the 
height of the lean-to at the eaves is but five feet and nine inches. 

In several ways the 'construction : of the house presents 
novelties to us. The window casings are not set into the walls, 
but made of four pieces of heavy timber, which are mortised 
together and fastened to the outer face of the walls by great 
hand-made spikes, the rectangular heads of which are nearly one 
inch long. All nails were hand-made, those for finish for floors 
and for boarding, and for coat hooks, each having a special 
shape. The heavy timbers of the frame were all held together 


by oak pins; all outer boarding was "feathered," that is, with 
edges beveled, so that the upper edge of one board fitted under 
the lower edge of the other. Apparently this was to shed water 
before the walls were clapboarded. The clapboards did not 
taper their full width, but were long one-half inch boards, 
beveled on the upper edge, and "feathered" again, instead of 
butted on the ends. 

The inner walls of all the rooms were covered with wide 
boards fitted together with tongue and groove ; the space between 
these boards and outer boards on the north and west sides were 
filled with brick or with solid timber for the purpose of giving 
additional warmth, and perhaps, incidentally, to add as a safe- 
guard against Indian attacks. 

The chimney is of the old-fashioned sort, with a fireplace 
at three of its sides on the ground floor. As near as can be 
measured it is nine feet and nine inches by eight feet and five 
inches square at this point. Where it passes through the roof 
it is four feet and eight inches wide on one side, but irregular 
of shape as it narrows rapidly, the adjoining side also being 
slightly narrower. 

The cellar stairs are of solid, triangular hewn logs, 
attached to heavy wood stringers by oak pegs, and they are as 
firm to the tread as granite. 

Through the centre of the house from east to west ex- 
tends a large beam as a part of the foundation of the second 
floor. Owing to its great size and after the fashion of that 
period, it extends below the ceilings of the ground floor rooms. 

The stairs are of two landings and three short flights, the 
first leading north, the next west, the last and shortest, south. 

There were no closets, and the whole upper floor of the 
main house was in two rooms originally. These rooms were 
separated by the chimney and small upper hall. Over the main 
house is an attic, as well as over the lean-to, the latter having a 
small finished room and being reached from the kitchen by a 



straight flight of stairs. Originally the present kitchen was the 
pantry, the present dining-room was the kitchen, with a tap room 
or bar at the end ; the present parlor was the living room ; and 
the present dining-room was a sleeping room. 

Erected in a time of Indian outbreaks and massacres, it 
was for a time one of the officially appointed ''Garrison houses" 
to which an alloted number of families could hasten in time of 
imminent danger, there to unite and defend themselves from the 
attack of the enemy. 

Neither record or tradition tells us whether this garrison 
was ever actually attacked, but as massacres by Indians did not 
cease in Massachusetts until 1724 we may be sure there were 
times when the building was filled with frightened fugitives, and 
armed men watched for the coming of the red foe. 

In the year 1752 the records of Middlesex County show that 
William Manning, the proprietor of the farm, was licensed as an 
inn-holder, and the house in consequence was long known as the 
Manning tavern. The account books have been preserved, and 
are extremely interesting. 

Those were the days when nearly every man indulged 
in drink stronger than water, and ministers did not dream of 
wrong-doing when they joined their parishioners in such in- 

The old tavern books have occasional mention of such 
articles as flour, sugar, hay, etc., but nearly all entries are of 
"rhum," "cyder," "todda," "flip," and ''cheary-dram," however, 
sales of quantities in excess of a single drink were uncommon, 
showing that the beverages were consumed on the place. 

At this tavern too, at one time during the Revolution, 
it is stated that a detachment of patriotic troops stopped here and 
were fed. In evidence of this is a list of officers and men in the 
old Tavern book. 



Only a few yards from the west end of the house, at the 
foot of a large elm tree, may be seen a small excavation ; this is 
the cellar of the so-called saltpetre house, which was a building 
about fifteen feet square where in the Revolution saltpetre was 
made for use as one of the component parts of gunpowder. 
This was sent to Lexington and Concord. 

From the ownership of the builder, the homestead passed 
to his son, Ensign William of the fourth generation, then to 
Lieut. William Manning of the fifth generation, then to Lieut. 
William Manning of the sixth generation and last of all to his 
children, thirteen in number, of whom two died in infancy, and 
only three married, leaving eight to pass more or less of their 
lives at the old home in single life. 

They passed away one by one, until the sole survivor was 
Miss Lucinda. With no protector near she was subjected to 
severe annoyances, for tramps were numerous, gypsies camped 
upon her grounds and her cows were often driven away and 

She finally decided that she must leave the place, which 
for one hundred and seventy-five years had been the home of all 
her nearest kin, and by her direction a house was built near 
relatives in Chelmsford only a few miles distant. 

When the team came for her, on the day of the change, 
"she was standing by the dying embers in the fireplace of an 
empty room." As she passed out of the house she exclaimed, 
"I shall never come here again," and though she lived more 
than fifteen years only a short distance away, she never returned. 

Miss Lucinda rented the place until her death in 1880, 
when by will she gave the house and land to trustees who were 
to lease it, and devote the proceeds to public worship and 
religious instruction in that part of the town of Billerica, known 
as School District No. 4, said instruction to be by teachers of the 




Baptist, Methodist or Orthodox faith. From this time there 
were various tenants, and as few, if any, repairs were made the 
house went rapidly to decay. 

In the past few years, several people, interested in the old 
place, have expressed a desire to save the house if possible. 
Mr. Warren H. Manning, of Brookline, Mass., the present 
occupant, realizing the importance of immediate practical work, 
on May 31st, 1899, personally leased the Old Homestead and 
commenced thorough repairs. His interest and unceasing efforts 
from that time show us today the house fully restored. A Man- 
ning Association has been formed and annual reunions are held 
at the Old Manse. 

Boyhood Reminiscences of Middlesex Village. By Hon. 
Samuel P. Hadley. Read in Three Parts, FEBRUARY 
8, 1905, May 10, 1905, and February 9, 19 10. 

"Let the dead past bury its dead, 
Act, act, Hi the living present," 

are the words Mr. Longfellow says the heart of the young man 
said to the Psalmist; but the heart of the old man throbbing to a 
weaker and faltering measure says in tearful and loving per- 
suasion: "No, let the dead of the dead past live again. Once 
more let us see their faces, hear their voices, feel again the sweet 
influence of their presence, enjoy once more the scenes which 
gladdened our youth." 

And so I come tonight with these simple memories of a 
childhood home, inexpressibly precious to me, and I will try to 
give them the spirit of Denham's lines : 

"We will revive those times, and in our memories, 
Preserve, and still keep fresh, like flowers in water, 
Those happy days." 

When, on November 21st, 182 1, less than ten years before 
my birth, Kirk Boott, Patrick T. Jackson, and four other persons, 
capitalists, and interested in cotton manufacturing in New Eng- 
land, visited that part of Chelmsford which is now Lowell, and 
perambulated the territory looking for a site for their new city, 
there existed at the head of the Middlesex Canal a large and 
thriving village. 

I do not propose to spend much time over the early history 
of the territory occupied by Middlesex Village, previous to the 
building of the Middlesex Canal in 1803. The subject has been 
pretty thoroughly examined by others, and the results are among 
the contributions printed by the Society. It may be briefly said, 
that the territory between Black Brook and the present Chelms- 
ford line was long a favorite Indian residence, and used by them 


for the purpose of their rude husbandry, and called "John 
Sagamore Plantation." The Indians sold to Henchman, and 
Henchman sold a part to Cragie and a part to the I Towards. 
Cragie owned east of the present centre of the village, and the 
Howards all to the west. Cragie, or his grantees, sold to Capt. 
Tyler, and the Howards sold a part of their territory to Cyrus 
Baldwin. The original deeds from the Indians to Henchman 
are still in existence, and I have myself seen and examined the 
original deeds from Henchman to the Howards. They ought to 
be among our historical papers. 

The name — Middlesex Village — was due to the fact that it 
was the Merrimack terminus or head of the Middlesex Canal. 
Previous to the completion of this water way between the Merri- 
mack and tide water at Charlestown, it could hot be called a 
village. I cannot find that previous to this date there were more 
than three or four houses on the whole territory, namely, the old 
tavern, the Willard Howard house, the Jerathmel Bowers house, 
the Timothy Clark house at the ferry, and a cottage house and 
barn which stood on the west side of the ferry road, between the 
old tavern and the ferry, and known in my childhood as the 
Sawin house, that being the name of the family who occupied it. 
I do not know who built it. 

There is a tradition in the village, that the Dea. Eben 
Adams house on Baldwin Street was originally a shop of some 
kind, and once stood on the corner of Middlesex and Baldwin 
Streets, and was moved to its present site and converted into a 
dwelling house. From an examination made by me some years 
ago, I became satisfied that this may have been the case. The 
timbers used and the internal arrangements were not such as 
would be likely to be adopted in a building originally designed 
as a dwelling house. 

With the exception of a few houses to which I shall refer 
presently, most of the houses were built between' 1820 and 1830, 


the new road between the centre of the village and Pawtucket, 
now Middlesex, Street not having been built until 1819. 

The growth of the village during the decade named 
was very considerable, and its future seemed very promising. 
The glass factory was in full operation, giving employment to a 
considerable number of workmen, and so also was the hat works 
of Bent and Bush, the Chelmsford Courier was printed there; 
there were at one time three groceries, a currier's shop, a black- 
smith's shop, a livery stable, two or three carpenters, a paint 
shop, a shoemaker's shop, and probably others, and to crown the 
whole, it had a brand new church, designed and built in the best 
New England style, and a new school house. 

Situated at a mean distance of two and one-half miles 
from Wyman's Exchange, in Lowell, with a distance of a full 
mile between the easterly limits of the village and the westerly 
settled portion of Lowell, in my boyhood the residents of the 
village were not in close social touch with the people of Lowell, 
and were very much as Tewksbury, Chelmsford Centre and 
Tyngsborough are today, dependent on their own resources for 
social pleasures, and improvement. Moreover, the village was 
a part of the town of Chelmsford, and to a considerable extent 
they were interested in the traditions and social life of their town. 
And, indeed, there was a great deal of sociability and pleasant 
intercourse among them. 

The old resident householders were fairly well off, as the 
times went, were kindly and hospitable after the old New Eng- 
land fashion, while the ladies and gentlemen, for such they were, 
employed in the hat factory, and many employed in the glass 
works, were well educated, fairly accomplished and thoroughly 
respectable, and like hundreds of the operatives early employed 
in the Lowell mills, were from good old New England families, 
and were not a whit ashamed of toiling by day with the loom or 
needle to earn an honest livelihood. 


Pleasant gatherings, particularly in the winter months, 
were held in the various homes, and if these occasions were not 
characterized by so many artificials and by so much of what is now 
termed good form, they were none the less hospitable and enjoy- 
able. Whist parties, singing parties, and among the younger 
portion, kissing parties, were common enough ; while the elders 
met once a week at the house of Mrs. Baldwin, Mr. Wood, Dea. 
Adams, Mr. Smith or Mr. Tyler, for prayer and meditation, or 
the study of the Scriptures, in what was known as the Bible Class. 

Now and then an itinerant lecturer or showman would 
give an entertainment at the tavern hall, and, in winter, balls 
were given in the same place which were something more than 
a mere local attraction. 

Lowell had few attractions to offer the villager in those 
days. It had no theatre worth the name, and vocal or instru- 
mental concerts were extremely rare. As a result the residents 
of Middlesex in the '30s stayed at home and made the best of it. 

Let us take a walk through the village beginning at the 
westerly end and note some facts in regard to each house as we 
pass along. 

On what is now Wood Street, there lived in what is now 
supposed to be the oldest house in Lowell, Col. Joseph Bowers 
and his family, his wife, three daughters and one son, another 
son living in the three-storied house on Middlesex Street. Col. 
Bowers was a typical New England farmer, honest, energetic, 
upright and downright. He cultivated his large farm with great 
industry and intelligence, in which he was assisted by his equally 
industrious sons, Alpheus and Sewall. He was famous for good 
cattle. He always kept a number of yoke of strong oxen which, 
in the canal season, he used in towing rafts of masts, spars, and 
lumber logs from the head of the canal at Middlesex to tide- 
water at Charlestown. One of his daughters became the wife 
of the late Capt Christopher Rob}- of West Chelmsford, 

1 84 


another the wife of the late Gen. Stark, of Nashua. Col. Bowers 
was the grandfather of the present city engineer, Mr. George 

Up the road towards North Chelmsford, on the north side, 
stood arid still stands, the large and fine dwelling house built by 
Maj. Nathaniel Howard, late in the '20s. I cannot remember 
Maj. Howard, who was a man of wealth, standing high in 
the estimation of the people of Chelmsford, where he was town 
clerk for many years. In my childhood the family consisted 
of Mrs. Howard, his widow, and her two sons, Samuel and 
Otis. Mrs. Howard was a Parkhurst, and an aunt of Mrs. 
Abner W. and Mrs. John A. Buttrick of Lowell. When a child 
I was very fond of visiting the Maj. Howard house, and often 
did so, for I was sure of a welcome from Mrs. Howard, who 
always greeted me when I entered, with the cheery salutation, 
"Well, here comes my little spider." She was a dear old lady, 
with bright, animated ways, and as neat as wax. She always 
gave me the run of the house from cellar to attic, and commonly 
sent me home with her love to my mother and my pockets full 
of red apples. The Howard brothers were the owners of the 
large estate left them by their father, lying mostly in Chelmsford, 
and about the homestead. Their farming operations were for 
many years conducted on a large scale. They raised fine live- 
stock of all kinds, and made a point of having the finest oxen 
in Chelmsford. Every season their ample barns were filled with 
vast stores of hay, grain and vegetables. They maintained 
in their home a generous and jovial hospitality, and many a 
glorious time I have shared with others, while the glowing wood 
fires threw out warmth and cheer upon the happy ones assembled 
about them. Alas ! the change that came over this happy old 
New England home ! I never pass it without experiencing a 
feeling of sadness, as I recall the old days of my childhood. 
After the death of their mother the brothers met with business 
reverses, one misfortune followed another, until they were 




M 'ELP R I M 'A Crt /?/ VER 


Old Middlesex Village. 

Drawn in 1911, 

By Hon 5aml P Haoley. 


revolutionary soiaier. it occurred sometime in the. 



obliged to abandon the old homestead to the control and owner- 
ship of others. We old people of Middlesex Village always 
call this old place, and we desire others to call it, the old "Major 
Howard Place." Any other designation however literally 
correct, is not pleasant to our ancient ears. 

Down the road on the same side as the Major Howard 
Place, there stood, in my childhood, the ancient house, known 
and called the "Willard Howard house." This house of two 
stories, running down in the rear pitch of the roof to one story, 
was a fine specimen of the old New England homestead of 
about the latter half of the 18th century. It was unpainted, but 
externally and internally was an excellent piece of joiners' work. 
It had a fine portal for the front door, with moulded and den- 
tilated door head, — the window heads were similarly finished, and 
the eave-cornice was proportionately and similarly moulded and 
dentilated. It had a mighty chimney. The rooms of both stories 
were wainscoated in the best style of the day, and with the best 
materials, and each room was provided with an ample fireplace. 

The house faced towards the east, with its south end to 
the road, a fashion of placing houses which I never have been 
able to explain. In front of the front door was a great flat stone. 
The barn of this place it still standing, — the other farm build- 
ings have disappeared. Just beyond the north end of the house 
stood a magnificent button-wood tree, one of the largest trees 
I ever saw alive. I once measured its immense trunk at the 
ground, and found it twenty-one feet in circumference,— seven 
feet in diameter. I have never ceased to regret the pulling down 
of this dear old New England house, the home of Willard 
Howard, a revolutionary soldier. It occurred sometime in the 
'50s. We would not permit it to be done in these days, if within 
our power to prevent it. Living very near it, I was very often 
in the house, and remember old Mr. Willard Howard with per- 
fect distinctness. The old soldier having lost his wife, lived in 
this house with a nephew, and was cared for by the family of 

1 86 


his younger brother, Jacob, who lived in the small house, just 
opposite my father's, and which is still standing. 

Mr. Jacob Howard's family consisted of his wife, a 
daughter of Capt. Butterrield Varnum of the Revolutionary 
Army, and sister of Mrs. Cyrus Baldwin, a son, Charles, and 
four daughters, Clarissa, who late in life married a Chadbourne, 
of Standish, Me., Mary, who remained single, and lived in the old 
place until her death in December 1886, Caroline, who married 
and lived in Newburyport, and Harriet, who married Josiah Ed- 
wards, and lived in the new house now called the Edwards house, 
until her death, which occurred only a few years ago. In his early 
married life Mr. Jacob Howard was the landlord of the old 
Middlesex Tavern; but being unfortunate in business, the small 
house, and the estate connected with it, consisting of intervale 
lying between the road and the river, became the property of 
Mrs. Howard. The old gentleman retained, however, some 
fishing rights on the river, near the Lawrence corporation, and 
every spring he set his nets, which were knitted by his wife, in 
the river, and caught large numbers of river shad. I can still 
hear my mother's voice saying to me when a boy, "Sam, step 
over to Mrs. Howard's and see if uncle Jacob can let us have a 

In winter, after a severe storm (and it does so now), a 
heavy drift would form in front of his house, and the old gentle- 
man, armed with a large potato shovel, had his hands full in open- 
ing a path through it to the road. When a boy, working at a sim- 
ilar job at our door,- 1 confess I used to enjoy hearing him grunt 
and talk to himself about the drift he was digging through, and 
expressing in pretty strong language his opinion that he had 
more than his share of snow. "Gol darn it all, seems to me all 
the snow in New Hampshire has landed in front of my door." 
In a spirit of boyish mischief I would call across to him and 
say, "We had a nice snow storm, Mr. Howard." He would 
pause in his work and staring at me through hi's muffler, would 


reply "Nice! I wish the old Harry had the whole out, its the 
darndest mean storm ever I see." 

Just above my house stands a house much changed in 
appearance from what it was when I was a child, and called in 
early days the Robert Spalding house. This house 1 believe to 
be one of the oldest houses in the village. The present house 
is an enlargement of the original one which was built by a man 
named Ayer, at about the time of the completion of the canal. 
This enlargement was made by Mr. Robert Spalding. Mr. 
Spalding was a shoemaker, and had a shop in which he employed 
a number of journeymen, which stood just west of his house 
nearly on a line with the road. Mrs. Spalding was a sister of 
Mr. Levi Snow of Westford. She died when I was a small boy, 
and I can just remember her. Among her children was the late 
John V. Spalding of the old firm of Spalding, Hay and Wales of 
Boston, and Miss Harriet Spalding now living in Boston, about 
my own age. 

In my boyhood the north portion of this house was 
occupied by Mr. Charles Swett and family, who many years ago 
removed to North Chelmsford. Their children, Mr. John French 
Swett, of Lowell, deceased, Mrs. Ann Maria Bacheller of Chelms- 
ford, Mrs. Arthur H. Sheldon of North Chelmsford, and Mr. 
Charles H. Swett of Boston, were all born under this roof. Mrs. 
Bacheller is only three days younger than myself. 

The house in which I live, and in which I was born, 

October 22, 1831, was built, (the main portion) in 1822 by a 

Mr. Harvey Burnett. Mr. Burnett lived in the main portion 

until 1827 when my father bought it, and in 1828 added a wing 

to the south. While Burnett lived in the house, Francis Brinley 

had a law office in the east room, and his sign was placed on the 

outside of the house. In 1830 Dr. Hezekiah Packard, pastor of 

the village church, with his daughter occupied a part ot the house 

and the east room was used by the doctor for a study. The 


1 88 


doctor's son, William, a youth of 18 and a member of Bowdoin 
College, died in this room in 1833. 

The Swett house, just below, was built by a Mr. Lamb in 
1823. He was the father of Mr. William A. Lamb, once pay- 
master at the Lowell Machine Shop twenty-five or more years 
ago. Deacon Edmund Swett bought it soon after it was built, 
and only recently, on the death of his widow, it passed into the 
hands of her legatee, Mr. Russ of Boston. 

I must not pass without a notice the stable, still standing 
just east of the Jacob Howard place, which in early days, before 
my time, was occupied by a Mr. Burke for a livery stable. In 
my childhood, this stable was occupied by Mr. John Swett, for 
the same purpose, and he did a thriving business. Mr. Swett 
removed to Lowell sometime in the '40s and for a number of years 
kept a stable on Green Street. He was long a resident of this 
city, and for a good many years followed his trade, that of a 
carpenter. He died at an advanced age, a few years ago, at his 
residence on the corner of Pine and Liberty Streets. He was 
the father of Mr. John H. Swett, the well known carriage maker 
near the Middlesex Street Station. 

I wish to say a word about some things connected with 
this old stable when it was kept by Mr. John Swett. His 
stock consisted of from twelve to fifteen horses, and an assort- 
ment of vehicles, thorough-braced chaises, carryalls, wagons, 
etc. for summer travel, and a fine lot of sleighs, single and 
double, for winter use. Mr. Swett was a good horse-man and 
his stable was well furnished and kept. As was the absurd 
fashion of the day, most of his horses were bob-tailed. In those 
days, more than now, thanks to the humane efforts of Mr. Angell 
and his friends, it was the custom among stable keepers, not only 
to amputate the tail, but by cutting a muscle at the base to cause 
the poor animal to carry in an erect position what it had left. 
It was an abominable custom, and I am sorry to say is still 
practised in certain quarters. I remember going into this stable 


when a boy, and seeing horses undergoing this mutilation. 
After the tail was amputated and the muscle cut, the tail was 
kept erect by a cord attached to it and carried in two strands 
over pulleys placed at the top of the stall, and held in this 
position by the weight of a brick attached to each end of the 
cord. A horse with a long flowing tail was the exception to the 
rule in the livery stables of those days. The harnesses were 
brass mounted, and the horse driven in hames and collar, — the 
breast plate for carriage driving came later. 

East of the stable stands the old Bowers or "three-storied 
house." When my father came to live in Middlesex Village in 
1822 he lived in this house, which was then the property of 
Samuel F. Wood. The first year of his occupancy he shared it 
with the families of Simeon Spalding and Moses ; Barrett, the 
following year with Silas Tyler and family. Mr. Artemas S. 
Tyler and my sister, Airs. Paul Hill, were born in this house. 
During my father's residence in it, the hall in the second story 
was used as a lodge-room by the Pentucket Lodge of Masons, 
and my mother used to tell some amusing stories concerning the 
mysteries of freemasonry from an outside point of view. In 
my childhood, two immense willow trees stood in front of the 
house, on the street line, which every year or two were pollarded. 
They were long ago removed. 

I do not know the date of the construction of this house, 
or by whom it was constructed. It was certainly before 181 5, 
because Miss Mary Howard told me that the roof was blown off, 
and landed in the interval back of the house in the great Sep- 
tember 23rd gale of that year, the same wind storm that blew 
down the Bowers barn. 

The disgraceful quarrel between the respective advocates 
of the Andover and Cambridge platforms of the Congregational 
Church in New England, resulting in a division of the members 
and a contest over church property, occurred in my childhood 
in the Middlesex church, and, as in many othen parishes, the 

1 90 


Trinitarian members withdrew, the Unitarian members greatly 
outnumbering them, and established a church with Rev. Mr. 
Southmayd as pastor, who, in a .short time was succeeded by 
Rev. Dr. John A. Albro, so long a pastor in Cambridge. 

The meetings of the new church were held in this hall of 
the three-story house. I was too young to know much about the 
particular manifestations of mutual dislike, not to say hatred, 
shown by the two parties which this contest engendered ; but I 
distinctly remember the atmosphere of rivalry which obtained, 
and the meetings held in the hall. My family attended the old 
church, and I can remember looking up to the west windows of 
the hall, on my way to church on Sunday, and seeing the neck 
of a double bass resting against the window sill ; and child as I 
was, feeling a profound satisfaction that I went to a church 
that had a steeple, a bell and a handsome pulpit, and not to one 
held in a dwelling, and destitute of these important accessories, 
as some children did. This Trinitarian church so formed, was 
the nucleus of the present Congregational church in North 

We have now reached the old Samuel Fox Wood home- 
stead, next east of the three-story house on the same side of the 
road. I cannot say when this house was erected, but I am sure it 
was not far from the time of opening the canal in 1803 or 1804. 
It was kept for many years by Mr. Wood as an inn and board- 
ing house largely for the use of boatmen on the canal and river. 
When I was a child it had two front entrances, and I can recall 
a lattice, on the right on entering, behind which was a bar, and 
other conveniences for public entertainment. It had a large and 
profitable patronage during the prosperous years of the canal. 
Long before the closing of the canal, Mr. W'ood ceased to carry 
it on as a public house and many changes were made in it both 
externally and internally. The public east entrance was walled 
up, and the public room turned into a large sitting room, the 
present entrance porch was added, and a large parlor, the width 


of the house in length, was made of what had once been two 

Mr. Wood was a man of wealth, for the times, shrewd 
in his investments and careful in his dealings. He had some- 
what peculiar manners. His unfailing- saluation to a friend or 
neighbor on meeting, spoken in a strained, throaty voice was, 
"How de do sir?" He always prefixed a statement with the 
unvarying preliminary ''The fact is." If he met me and en- 
quired for my father his question always was, "How does your 
sir do?" the word "sir" meaning I have no doubt, "sire." He 
never said "hen's nest" but "hin's neest" and had a sort of 
Quaker way of using his pronouns, as in saying "They know 
about it" he would say "Thee know about it." 

Mrs. Wood, who was a Burnham, and a sister of the old 
landlord of the Pemegewassett House at Plymouth, N. H., was 
a most excellent person, with a fresh, sweet, motherly face ; 
indeed I was not alone in thinking her handsome. Their only 
child and daughter married Samuel Parker, a Harvard graduate 
and Lowell lawyer, well remembered by many of us. The 
original house of the Jonathan Tyler Stevens mansion, on the 
corner of Andover and Park Streets, was the newly married 
home of Mr. and Mrs. Parker. I think Mr. Wood built the house 
for them. 

On the death of Mrs. Parker a few years ago, the estate 
passed into other hands. Squire Parker was not only a lawyer, 
an uncompromising foe of the liquor traffic, but he was also 
quite a musician ; indeed I think he rather prided himself on his 
exact and thorough knowledge of that delightful science, and 
both sang, and played upon musical instruments. I do not think 
those who heard him sing were much impressed with the sweet- 
ness or purity of his tones, but on the double-bass viol, and that 
now somewhat archaic instrument, the orphicleide, which latter 
instrument he afterwards played in that famous musical organi- 
zation called the "Chelmsford Appolonian Temperance Brass 


lowp:ll historical society 

Band," he was fairly acceptable, I believe, lie used to practise 
on the orphicleide in a corner room of the Wood house, march- 
ing about the room, and keeping step to his own music, and 
when this remarkable performance began, we small boys used 
to gather on the street, to hear him. As he practised only the 
scales, and the part written for the instrument, and not the air 
of any tune, the performance was not very inspiring, in a martial 
way, but that did not much matter; so availing ourselves of 
whatever of rythm there was in it, we boys would also march 
and countermarch, in youthful military style, the company, as is 
usual in such cases, being composed wholly of officers, who yelled 
out all sorts of orders, which no one obeyed, until Mr. Parker 
would cease in his playing and marching, come to the window, 
throw open the blinds, and thrusting forth his gold-spectacled 
face, in manner unmistakably indignant, and in language per- 
fectly clear and- devoid of any possible ambiguity, would order 
us away, assuring us severally and collectively that we were a 
parcel of saucy young rascals, who severally and collectively de- 
served a sound flogging. We boys never could understand why 
he was so sensitive. It did not add to his popularity among the 
boys, and unpopularity in that quarter means more than is some- 
times thought. 

Just below the Wood homestead was a two-storied hip 
roofed house, the property of Mr. Wood. It had two front 
entrances, the lower portion being used as a country grocery 
store, and the upper portion by a dwelling, having an entrance on 
the east end which was reached by a stairway built upon the 
outside. In my childhood this second story was occupied by a 
tailor named McKenney as a shop and dwelling. The lower 
portion was occupied by Mr. Samuel Burbank, who subsequently 
removed to Lowell, and after him by Mr. Warren Wilson, of 
Dunstable. The last occupant was Mr. Fred S. Geer, so long in 
the employment of the Pearson Brothers on Shattuck Street. 
About 1856 this building was removed to Lowell 1 , and is now a 


dwelling on Willie Street, a little south of Broadway. McKenney, 
the tailor, I can perfectly remember, lie was a little waspish 
fellow, an Irishman, full of talk, and something else at times, 
who had a perfect genius for making misfits; and I have heard 
my father say that he kept a goose that was mighty fond of 
cabbage, a figure of speech relating to the sartorial calling not so 
well understood now as seventy years ago. 

On our easterly walk we have now reached the bridge over 
the canal, the tow-path of which passed under the bridge, on the 
west side, between the abutment and the water, the shore being 
planked at this point, to ensure safety to passing horses. Look- 
ing to the south one would have seen on his left the somewhat 
pretentious Baldwin house, just east of the canal, standing 
among its great elms, most of which are still standing. Before 
him he would have seen the long level surface of the canal three 
rods wide, extending as far as the eye could reach, spanned at 
a distance of about a quarter of a mile to the south by another 
bridge, similar to the one on which the observer would be stand- 
ing, this long level surface of water being narrowed at a point 
twenty rods away, by the aqueduct over Black Brook, to about 
twelve feet in width for a distance of seventy-five feet. This 
beautiful ribbon of water was inclosed in green banks, the tow- 
path running along on the westerly one. Supporting and sus- 
taining these green banks on both sides the observer would have 
seen long lines of tall Lombardy poplars placed about one 
hundred feet apart, in summer beautiful in their tapering, steeple 
shaped forms, and light green foliage, precisely as the same 
kind of tree is for the same purpose planted and grown in France 
today, and which form a marked feature in the landscape of that 
charming country. To the right, the observer would have seen 
through the trees, a long level field, near the southerly boundary 
of which he would have seen the banks of a winding brook, 
fringed now and then with alder clumps, while beyond buttressing 
the whole view, he would have seen a grand old forest of stately 



oaks and pines, crowning the heights far on to the south. ''Bald- 
win's woods" where, when a child, I spent many happy hours, 
have long since disappeared. 

Crossing to the other side of the bridge and looking north, 
one would have seen for a short distance the same green banks 
and the same lines of poplar with the canal passing between two 
wooden wharves, one in front of the storehouse with two hitch 
posts, one for each end of the boat, the wharf opposite being 
similarly constructed. These were the landings. Just beyond 
the storehouse, and directly in front of a large stable for horses, 
was a circular pond or cove, a part of the canal, used for turning 
boats. There were a number of these coves on the line of the 
canal used for a similar purpose. Beyond to the north were the 
locks into the Merrimack, and the collector's office, which is still 

Perhaps the observer would have noticed two boats on the 
level to the south and noticed them about to pass. This is what 
he would have seen. They are to pass on the right. The outer 
boat stops its tow horse and slacks its towline and so allows it 
to sink in the water to the canal bottom, and the inner boat passes 
over the sunken line between the outer boat and the tow-path, 
the tow-horse of the inner boat steps over the tow-line of the outer 
boat between the tow-horse of the outer boat and the water. The 
inner boat has not, as you would have observed, stopped its 

The canal storehouse, as it was called, stood on the westerly 
bank, (the cellar walls are still to be seen), was a large two- 
storied building sixty feet in length and forty feet in width. 
About one-third of the building, to the south, was finished into a 
boarding house for boatmen, and there was an opening at the 
south end into a finished cellar in which was a bar. This board- 
ing house and cellar at one time were kept by Mr. John Young, 
familiarly called Dad Young, whose descendants still live in West- 
ford. By the way, Mr. Young was our amateur Village dentist, 


and was very skillful at extracting teeth. He pulled my first 
tooth. When I was a child the boarding house was kept by a Mr. 
Pettengill, who had a brother living in Tyngsborough. The 
remainder, the larger part of the building, was given up to the 
storage of all sorts of merchandise, lime, flour, and salt pre- 
dominating. The windows of the whole building were pro- 
tected by heavy wooden shutters. Previous to 1832 the canal 
office was in a room in the finished portion, that year being the 
one in which the present office was erected. There was a cellar 
under the whole building, and two bulkheads on the westerly 
side. After the closing of this canal, this building was sold to a 
Mr. John Greenleaf of Lowell, taken down, carried away, and 
its parts reunited at Ayer's City, where it may still be. The 
timbers in this old building were immense. ; 


This old tavern, or rather I should say tavern stand, for 
its present appearance is the result of many additions, was in 
existence as far back as the middle of the 18th century. Some 
sort of a public house was maintained on this spot long before 
the building of the first bridge at Pawtucket Palis, when "Clark's 
ferry" was in use as a part of the route to Boston from southern 
New Hampshire. The earliest landlord of whom I have any 
knowledge was our neighbor, Mr. Jacob Howard. He kept the 
tavern previous to 1816. How many years he kept it I do not 
know. About 18 16 Mr. Jesse Smith became the owner, and kept 
the tavern until it was taken by Mr. Simeon Spalding about 
1820. Mr. Spalding kept the tavern until it was sold to Mr. 
Enoch Merrill by Mr. Smith, who subsequently acquired a title 
to it and in 1833 made the improvements and alterations giving 
it its present appearance. 

In my childhood, this old tavern was kept by Mr. Thomas 
Parker, a native of Bedford, N. H., a brother of Mr. William 
Parker, the agent of the Glass Company. I 1 remember Mr. 



Thomas Parker very well. lie was a tall angular man, not 
celebrated for industry or personal neatness, but somewhat 
remarkable for being a skillful performer on the violin ; indeed 
it was one of the attractions of the village, to go into the tavern 
and hear Tom Parker fiddle. He appeared to take delight in his 
own music, caressing the instrument with affectionate fondness, 
closing- his eyes as he bowed forth old contra-dances, hornpipes, 
jigs and music of that description. 1 believe the tavern was well 
kept for the times. In winter it was much patronized for balls, 
suppers, and other social occasions, as well as by the country 
produce people, who made it one of their stopping places. In 
summer it was extensively used by the boatmen on the canal 
and by transient guests. 

After Mr. Parker left it, in '40 or '41, it was kept for a 
number of years by a Mr. Daniel Poor, a native of Stoneham, 
and on the swinging sign which hung before the door was the 
following in gilt letters : "D. Poor Middlesex House." There 
was no punctuation mark between the words "Poor" and "Middle- 
sex," and the wicked village boys, taking advantage of this 
omission, used to add a few letters to the initial of the given 
name, with a result which made the reading decidedly uncom- 
plimentary to the character of the house. 

In the winter, balls were given in the hall of the old 
Village Tavern, then kept, and well kept, by Mr. Thomas Parker. 
They were attended by the very best people of both sexes, and 
were admirably conducted. The hall was gaily decorated, and 
the ladies and gentlemen appeared in the full fashions of the 
day. The music consisted of a half dozen pieces and was in- 
spiring. Dancing began at about 7 and continued until 12, 
when the whole company sat down to a hot turkey supper with 
all the other dishes. After supper the dancing was resumed, and 
often continued until daybreak. 


There were no round dances in those days. Fisher's Horn- 
pipe, Money Musk, Chorus Jig, Portland Fancy, Lady Washing- 
ton's Reel, Speed the Plough, and other old contra dances, which 
called for real dancing, and the cotillion, were in order. 

When I was a small boy I was permitted to go down to 
the hall, dressed in my very best, and sit on a seat near the 
entrance to observe the gay dancers. I had to be in my bed at 
nine o'clock however. 

The Nathan Tyler, Jr., house, long the residence of Miss 
Mary Elizabeth Tyler, was built by Capt. Nathan Tyler, and \va^ 
originally designed to accommodate a store, but the plan was 
abandoned, and the house completed in its present form. When 
I was a boy the house was occupied by Mrs. Pearce and family, 
three daughters and two sons. 

The daughters, Martha, Abby, and Deborah, were em- 
ployed in the hat finishing shop opposite by Messrs. Bent & Bush, 
as hat trimmers. They were very intelligent and well educated 
young ladies, and also musical, all being singers in the church 
choir. Abby, in particular, was a very beautiful soprano, accord- 
ing to the then existing standards of excellence. The son Joseph, 
the oldest of the children, was an artist and musician, and long- 
resided in Boston. He played the French horn for many years 
in the orchestra of the old National theatre, and was a member 
of other musical organizations in Boston. He was an excellent 
portrait painter, and some of his work is still to be seen in the 
homes of many old Bostonians. In his old age he was in the 
employment of the Metropolitan Railroad Co. as a car decorative 
painter. He died about ten years ago, aged about ninety years. A 
year before his death, I called upon him at his home in South 
Boston, and found him feeble in body, but in good mental con- 
dition, full of pleasant memories of the old family home in 
Middlesex. He told me that he had a sketch in oil, made in his 
young days, of the view of the village taken from the west 



window of the Tyler house, which lie promised to find and send 
me. He did not long survive my call. 

Just across the street from the Nathan Tyler, Jr., house, 
on the corner of Middlesex and Baldwin Streets, stood a build- 
ing originally used as a law office of Mr. John R. Adams, a son 
of Capt. William Adams of North Chelmsford. Mr. Adams 
removed to Lowell in 1823, and the following year the building 
was used by Mr. William Baldwin as the printing and publish- 
ing office of the "Chelmsford Courier." Rev. Bernard Whitman 
was editor. This was the birthplace of the Lowell Daily Courier. 
When the Courier was removed to Lowell, the building was 
bought by Bent & Bush, greatly lengthened towards the south, 
and converted into a finishing shop for hats. It was destroyed by 
fire a number of years ago. ; 

In the two-storied house with hip roof, the first dwell- 
ing on the east side of Baldwin Street, lived Dea. Eben Adams 
and family consisting of his wife, and an adopted daughter, 
Martha, a sister of William and Luke McFarlin of Lowell. 
Mr. Adams was for many years the clerk and paymaster of the 
Chelmsford Glass Company. Chicle Eben Adams, as we always 
called him, was a member of the famous Braintree family, and 
had the personal characteristics of head, face and form peculiar 
to the Braintree Adams. He was long the village squire and 
postmaster, was a deacon in the village church, and had that 
other family distinction, — he was an earnest and ardent whig in 
politics. The democrats used to call him an "old Fed." The 
family was highly respectable, and connected on both sides with 
relatives of wealth and distinction. It was a home of much 
refinement and culture. Mrs. Adams was a courtly and dignified 
lady, some years older than her husband. Their two sons. Austin 
and John, were gentlemen of education and refinement of man- 
ners, were residents of New York, and their summer visits to their 
parents, with their families, were occasions of great interest to 
our village people, bringing as they did into our slomewhat dozy 


village existence something of the atmosphere of their city life, 
which was quite inspiring and improving. Both gentlemen had 
travelled much, and I remember how delighted I was when a boy, 
in hearing Mr. John Adams give an account of his visit to the 
Holy Land, and also to the buried cities of He rcu lane urn and 
Pompeii. He was a pleasing raconteur, and his calls were always 
very entertaining. He was also very fond of music, and had a 
repertoire of old sentimental songs, which he sang with excellent 
voice and expression, accompanying himself on the piano. One 
song in particular I recall, — a simple ditty, but he made a touch- 
ing thing of it, "Poor Bessie was a sailor's wife, And he was off 
to sea." 

Uncle Eben was, as I have said, a strong whig, as also 
were Mr. Bent, Mr. Bush, the Howards, the Tylers,- Dea. Swett, 
Mr. Wood, and some others, while Col. Bowers and sons, Squire 
Parker, and my father, were democrats, and many an exciting 
political discussion did I hear, seated on the meal bags in Mr. 
Smith's store between my elders, who in winter surrounded the 
old Franklin stove in the center of the room. Deacon Adams 
was a great smoker of "short six" cigars, as they were called, the 
others being "long nines," and during an argument he was con- 
stantly removing his cigar to enable him to express himself with- 
out difficulty, and when he had fired his battery at the confounded 
"locofocos" as he called them, he would replace his cigar in his 
mouth for a fresh pull, and as he always removed it from his 
month between his fore and middle finger, he often in his excite- 
ment returned the lighted end into his mouth, causing him to 
spit and sputter, much to the delectation of the audience of 
urchins on the meal bags, who laughing at the incident, would 
be unceremoniously ordered home by Mr. Smith for flagrant 
disrespect to their elders. 

We have now reached the Tyler homestead, standing high 
above the road, on a ledgy eminence, a large, square, two-storied 
and well proportioned New England home, having a hip roof, 



two massive chimneys, the entrance being through a portico, 
having 1 well proportioned Ionic columns. This fine old house, 
was built by Capt. Nathan Tyler, the father of Jonathan, Silas, 
Samuel, William, Nathan, Otis, Mary, Elizabeth, Fanny and 
Ignatius Tyler, in 1822. 

Having disposed of his property in Lowell, about 1821, 
Capt. Tyler moved to Middlesex Village, having purchased of 
Cragie the estate so long known as the Tyler farm, and while 
building his fine new house, just mentioned, lived in the Clark 
house at Clark's ferry. 

On the death of Capt. Tyler, the family estate remained 
undivided in the hands of his children, and was the home of 
Nathan, Otis, William, Samuel, Mary and Elizabeth. On his 
marriage Nathan moved into the house formerly occupied by Mrs. 
Pierce, where he resided the rest of his life, and where his 
daughter Miss Mary Elizabeth Tyler recently died. 

We have now reached the fine old homestead of Mr. 
Jesse Smith, so long the owner of the Middlesex tavern. In my 
childhood this house was called the Mrs. Warren house. Mrs. 
Warren built the house in 1823. She was the widow of Joseph 
Warren, who owned at one time a large amount of real estate 
in Lowell, east of Central Street. Warren Street was named 
for the family. She sold her Lowell property and at the instance 
of her neighbor, Capt. Tyler, bought of him the lot upon which 
the house stands and erected this pleasant old mansion. She 
was the mother of Mrs. Jesse Smith, and on her death the estate 
passed into the hands of the Smith family, who have ever since 
resided there. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Smith were excellent people, 
and greatly respected and beloved in our village. Of their 
children, Mary, John H., Joseph W., and Fannie R., the latter 
the wife of the late Dr. T. P. Robinson, of Newton, have passed 
away ; one daughter, Miss Abba, lives in the old homestead 
(191 1 ). One of my very earliest recollections is of attending the 
funeral of a daughter of Mr. Smith, Mary, in June 1835. I 


recall the fact that the music on the occasion was furnished by 
the church choir, including the instrumental performers, and 
that one of the tunes sung by them was that touching one in .the 
old Boston Academy, Mt. Vernon, "Sister thou wert mild and 
lovely," etc. 

The brick house was built by Mr. Samuel Burbank about 
1826. It was long the home of Mr. Bush of the firm of Bent & 

The house now the property of Mr. Ferriri was built by 
a Mr. Scammel, about 1824. 

The two-storied house, on the north side of Middlesex 
Street, just east of Black Brook, and near the intersection of 
Middlesex and Pawtucket Streets, was built by Mr. Amos 
Whitney, a native of Townsend, and was his family residence 
for many years. Mr. Whitney was a widower, Mrs. Whitney 
having died in 18 18, and his household consisted of his son, 
Mr. Amos Whitney, Jr., and a housekeeper, Miss Sybil Coburn. 
Mr. Amos Whitney, as I remember him, was a bright, lively, 
active old gentleman, wearing silver bowed spectacles, who 
frequently called upon my father at the canal office, and always 
crossed the lock by walking, cane in hand, on the top of the 
balance-levers and gates, a proceeding which we thought some- 
what dangerous for a man of eighty years. 

Mr. Amos Whitney died in 1854, aged 89 years, and I re- 
call one incident at his funeral, which I attended, which illustrated 
the oddity of old Capt. Elisha Ford, the sage of Pawtucket Falls. 
I found the Captain standing with a few other old friends of Mr. 
Whitney, in the yard in front of the house, and bearing in his 
hand a stick, which had once served as the handle of an ancient 
umbrella. The day w-as cold and cloudy, and as the funeral ser- 
vices were about to begin, I asked him if he were not going into 
the house. To my surprise he replied with sharp emphasis, "No 
sir. I'm not going in, I stay right here," at the same time giving 
the umbrella cane a decisive punch into the ground. "Why not." 



I inquired. "Because," said he, "Minister Clark is conducting the 
funeral." "What is the trouble with Mr. Clark, Captain?" I 
asked. "The trouble is this," he replied. "He attended old Mrs. 
Baldwin's funeral the other day, and I was there. He prayed for 
every Baldwin under the sun, and never remembered old Mrs. 
Jacob Howard, Mrs. Baldwin's own sister, and I don't like such 
praying. I won't go in to hear him, but I'll stay right here," and 
he gave the umbrella handle another emphatic punch into the 
ground. And outside he remained during the funeral. His own 
funeral took place the following May. 

Mr. Amos Whitney, Jr., was a much larger man than his 
father, a tall dignified gentleman of the old school, of courtly 
manners, very neat in his person, and precise in his dress, always 
wearing a high dickey and a white cravat. He was an out and 
out debonair old bachelor, very positive in his political and 
religious opinions, but always a gentleman. After the death of 
his father he lived, for many years, in this house, tenderly cared 
for by the old housekeeper, Miss Coburn, but finally, to the sur- 
prise of everybody, sold the house and removed to the Jonathan 
Bowers house at Pawtucket Falls, where he died in 1874, leaving 
nearly the whole of his considerable estate to Tufts College. 
Father and son were much respected by all who knew them. 
They were buried side by side in the School Street yard. 

Miss Sybil Coburn, the housekeeper, was a woman of 
marked characteristics in many ways. "Aunt Sybil" as she was 
called, had a way of plain speaking, and never failed, on occasion, 
to express her opinions on all subjects, particularly that of 
religion, in a very blunt fashion. She was a notable weaver of 
rag carpets, which work she carried on in a little building stand- 
ing in the yard of the main house, near the railroad. On the 
death of Mr. Whitney, Jr., she returned to Middlesex Milage, 
and lived the remainder of her life with a sister, in the Ebert 
house, on Baldwin Street. 


In river freshets this Whitney house, on account of its 
situation, was often surrounded by water, causing great annoy- 
ance and inconvenience to the occupants, who were obliged to 
live in the second story until the flood subsided. I can recall one 
freshet, — I think it was in the '50s, which was so high that the 
family was removed from the second story in a boat. 

The house called the Baldwin house, which is still 
standing a number of rods on Middlesex Street westerly 
of its original site, was erected by Cyrus Baldwin, one 
of the brothers of the famous Woburn family, in 1800. 
The house stood about twenty-five feet easterly of the canal, 
fronting to the south, although there was a hall entrance 
to the house from Middlesex Street, from which it was 
separated by a yard and fence. In front of the, house, on the 
south, was a large enclosed flower garden, while beyond was an 
orchard and vegetable garden. In the lower part of the west end 
of the house, on the left, entering by the south door, was a large 
parlor, occupying the whole width of the house, rather elegantly 
finished in moulded and dentilated cornices, and having heavily 
capped dados, while the walls were hung with magnificent French 
wall-paper, representing scenes in and about Paris, — beautiful 
buildings and pleasure grounds with ladies and gentlemen riding 
and walking, with country scenes, long avenues of Lombard)' 
poplars, as seen in France today, and having all that attractive 
variety which one familiar with the French wall-paper of the 
time of the Directory will readily recognize. On the west side 
of this parlor, in the centre, were two glass doors, swinging in- 
wardly, in French fashion, opening out upon a piazza or stoop 
with side seats. It was through these glass doors that, when 
a child, I used to look in upon the beautiful pictures on the walls, 
and think it the finest room in the world. Qn the right, as 
you entered from the south door, was a very pretty drawing 
room, also elegently corniced and dentilated, filled with rich old 
mahogany furniture; and I particularly remember a beautiful 



gilt-framed, oval mirror, which diminished the size of objects 
reflected in it. This room may still be seen, and is well worth 
examination by any one interested in such matters. In the rear 
of this room having a hall entrance, was a larger room, used 
by the family as a sitting room, but being on the north side of 
the house was illy lighted by day, and less elaborately finished. 
The fine parlor was divided and shorn of its attractive features 
to suit the requirements of subsequent owners. The chambers in 
their finish remain in their original condition. 

In this pleasant home, amid these evidences of gentility 
and good taste of the early part of the last century, with abun- 
dant means, lived, when I was a boy, Airs. Cyrus Baldwin, widow, 
and her sister, Miss Mercy Yarnum, both dignified ladies of 
excellent lineage, daughters of an officer in the revolutionary 
army. Mrs. Baldwin, who from her marriage had been brought 
into touch and association with her husband's wealthy and some- 
what distinguished New England family, was high bred, and 
loyally attached to social usages and habits of living, which did 
not obtain in any marked degree among her village neighbors. 
I always associate this excellent lady in my memory with a rich 
black silk dress, an expensive wrought-lace collar, a quietly 
ribboned lace cap, a pair of silver-bowed spectacles, and a 
decidedly pronounced odor of Farina cologne. She had, as I 
know, a dry caustic humor, a Varnum quality by the way, which 
sometimes wounded more than she intended, no doubt ; and a 
rather uncompromising adherance to religious opinions ; but 
these defects, if indeed they may be called so, were lost sight 
of in her charities, which were many, her ever-ready sympathy 
with the sorrowing and afflicted, and her graceful and well-bred 
personal manners. She had, as everybody said, very strong 
likes and dislikes, but I, for some reason which I cannot explain, 
enjoyed the distinguished honor -of being much in her favor. 
I was always welcome to call upon her, and generally left with 
some token of her regard swallowed or unswallowed. The 
following may farther illustrate this point. 


At a very early age, but never since be it said, I took a 
good deal of interest in the work of garden making, — the con- 
struction of flower beds, and one spring when I was ten years old, 
she actually entrusted to my young judgment the entire re- 
construction of her flower garden, to which I applied myself 
with boyish enthusiasm, not unmixed with pride at the honor, 
having at my command and disposal the services of a very black 
serving man to aid me in my work, and I put into the new garden 
so much original juvenile geometry, as well as artistic border- 
ing, that she appeared greatly pleased, complimented my skill 
in very Mattering words, and prophesied my future fame in that 
branch of science, — a prophecy however, never fulfilled. I took 
it all in at the time, with great satisfaction, but I now strongly 
suspect, although I would not charge the old lady with in- 
sincerity, that she was after all only jollying her ''little man" as 
she called me, — a bit of Varnum humor, T will call it. 

The famous Countess of Rumford was a friend of Mrs. 
Baldwin and used to visit at this house. 

The Baldwin house was moved up the street to the west 
to give place to the Pratt house, where it now stands, owned and 
occupied by Mr. John C. Melloon. 

On the west side of Baldwin Street, just beyond the great 
elm, which marks the site of the glass works, stands the house 
once owned and occupied by Mr. William Parker, the super- 
intendent and principal owner of the Chelmsford Glass Works. 
It is somewhat changed in appearance by the use of modern 
outside finish. The original color was a colonial yellow. Mr. 
Parker was a native of Bedford, N. II., and a man of great 
business ability and universally respected. On the removal of the 
glass works to Suncook, N. H., he went with his family to that 
place to reside, and remained there the rest of his life. 

The two-storied house opposite the Parker house on the 
hill, now owned, by Mrs. Agnes H. Green, was built by Mr. 
John Wilson, about 1825, and was long occupied by him and his 



numerous family. One of his daughters was the wife of Mr. 
Frederick S. Geer, so long in the employment of the Pearson 

Mr. Wilson was the owner of a number of canal boats 
plying on the waters of the Merrimack River and the Middlesex 
Canal, and did a large business in that way. Among his accom- 
plishments was that of being a great rifle-shot, at "arms length," 
and he was usually present at the shooting matches held in the 
neighborhood. Politically he was an ardent whig, and used to 
tell with a great deal of satisfaction, that he carried the great 
political banner in the immense whig demonstration held on 
Bunker Hill, in the excited campaign of 1840. He was a very 
large, fine-looking man, six feet in height, with black eyes, 
swarthy complexion, with a head of thick, curly black hair. When 
angry, like the army in Flanders or the proverbial "trooper" he 
swore scientifically and terribly. He was, however, a man 
possessed of many good qualities. 

The house standing on Hadley Street, just beyond the 
school house, and called by old residents the Blood house, was 
built by a man named Van Dorn, for some time a resident of the 
village. About 1821 Van Dorn sold the property to Mr. Benjamin 
Blood of North Chelmsford, and it remained in the Blood family 
until sometime in the seventies, when it was bought by Mr. 
Isaac H. Smith, who improved the house, giving it its present 

The square house on what is now Baldwin Street, on the 
easterly side, and just north of Black Brook, now somewhat 
changed in appearance, was the home of Mr. Charles Bent and 
family. Mr. Bent was senior member of the well-known firm of 
Bent & Bush, hatters and furriers, doing business for many years 
in Lowell and Boston. The hat factory was on the opposite 
side of the street; the finishing and trimming department was 
on the corner of Middlesex and Baldwin streets. 


Mr. Bent was a very intelligent, agreeable and excellent 
man, full of good sense and good nature, and a lover of humor 
of which he had a considerable gift. He had a fund of good 
stories which he enjoyed telling, and which others enjoyed hear- 
ing. In person he was a stout, jolly-faced man. His family 
consisted of a wife and three children. Mrs. Bent died in 1837, 
and I recall her funeral, which I attended with my parents in 
the village church. One of the tunes sung by the choir on the 
occasion, was "Hamburg" — "Kingdoms and thrones to God 

His only son, Charles, who went to California in 1849, an( l 
spent most of his life there, died in this city about ten years ago. 
His elder daughter, Mary, became the wife of Mr. Joseph 
W. Smith, second son of Mr. Jesse Smith, and rhother of Mr. 
Jesse J. Smith of this city. His daughter Sarah is now (1910) 
residing in Lowell. 

Mrs. Bent's maiden name was Sarah Bond, a native of 
Watertown, and she was a sister of the first and second wives of 
Gen. Benjamin Adams of North Chelmsford. 

The old house on Pine Street, latterly owned and occupied 
by Mr. James F. Holden, was built by Mr. Frederick Remme, a 
German by birth, the superintendent of the glass works, about 
1824, and was his residence many years. He disposed of the 
property, and "removed to what is now the Ferrin house on 
Middlesex Street, which was his home until within a few years 
of his death. 

Mrs. Remme was a Chelmsford woman, and was a 
sister of Haskell and Weld Spalding of Lowell. Their adopted 
daughter, Annette, was the wife of Mr. Brown of Waltham. 

This old church in Chelmsford known as the 2nd Con- 
gregational Church was completed about 1823, and the church 
was organized April 27, 1824, with 13 members. This church 
had no settled pastor until Nov. 21, 1827, when Rev. John A. 
Albro, a graduate of Yale College and Andover Theological 



Seminary, was ordained and installed as pastor. In 1830 there 
arose the controversy between the divisions of the Congregational 
body to which I have already referred, in speaking of the old 
three-story house. The Supreme Court made a decision which 
opened the way to this separation. The church was built by a 
man named Parker who lived, while he was engaged in the work, 
in the building near Black Brook, which was afterwards owned 
and occupied by Bent & Bush for a hat factory. 

As I have said, my family attended the old church, of 
which Rev. Dr. Packard was pastor, and my attendance there 
in my childhood is one of my happiest recollections. In the 
hallway or vestibule of the church, on the right hand corner, 
rested two white poles with ends painted a light blue. These 
were the ty thing-man's poles, with which to keep order in church. 
They were symbols of authority, and so remained, for I never 
saw them put to any practical use. Our pew had, in one corner, 
a large doric pillar which, with others, supported the gallery, 
and I can remember standing on the pew cushion during the 
service, with my arm around the pillar, and looking over the 
church and congregation. 

The great square pulpit, which had behind it on the wall, 
a blue painted arched window, the arch being ornamented with 
a row of golden stars, was an object that aroused my most 
profound admiration. In front of the pulpit were two doors, 
only one of which appeared to be practical, (as the theatre people 
say) the other being ornamental — at least I suppose so, for I 
never saw it opened. The left one was the practical one, and 
usually open. The pulpit which was a great square structure, 
moulded and paneled, of excellent joiner's work and of great 
height, had a sort of bay windowed front, with a fluted support, 
terminated by a gilt ornament or corbel, the parapets being 
trimmed with red damask. and beautiful silken fringe. A stair- 
way led up from the interior in the rear to the pulpit platform 
above, and I can recall watching Dr. Packard as he entered the 


pulpit and counting to see how many I could count before his 
white head appeared in the pulpit above. The inside of the 
lower story of the pulpit was used as a Sunday School library. 

The old church had side galleries, and opposite the pulpit, 
at the other end of the church, were the singing seats. The 
parapet in front of the choir had upon it a row of mahogany 
balusters, through the upper part of which was strung a large 
iron wire, and on this wire, between the balusters, were hung 
red moreen curtains. The balusters had holes in them at the 
top in which to place a candle. When the hymn was given out 
and read, these curtains were drawn for some mysterious reason, 
so as to hide the choir, and when they stood to sing, their heads 
and shoulders appeared above the drawn curtains. How well 
I remember the drawing of those curtains ! The noise caused 
by the sliding of the curtain rings on the wire, still lingers in my 
ears. And the curtain mystery still remains unsatisfactorily 
unsolved. Were they drawn to conceal the preliminary finding 
of places in the singing books, or to enable the female singers 
to make a few preparatory prinks before appearing in so public 
a manner before the congregation? Why were the red curtains 
drawn? I wondered as a boy, I still wonder as an old man. 

On Sunday my father, who was a member of the choir, 
allowed me to sit beside him one day in the singing seats, and 
when the choir stood up to sing, lifted me up and placed my 
feet upon a cleat, nailed on the inside of the parapet, so that my 
nose was on a level with the top of a baluster, and I got my 
nose greased with the candle grease, which filled the hole. That 
Sunday Mr. Solomon Adams made me a present of a large egg 
plum, and allowed me after service to draw his bow over the 
strings of his bass viol. Little did he then think that his in- 
strument would become the property of the little boy he amused. 

Something must be said about the old village church 
choir as I knew it seventy years ago. The vocal portion was 
composed of Miss Abby Pierce and Miss Martha Adams, the 



former a delightful singer, — Miss Susan Bradstreet, — sopranos — 
Miss Mary Pierce and Miss Deborah Pierce, altos, — Mr. Francis 
Bush, who had a good voice, but opened his mouth when he 
sang as though he was catching flies, my father, who had a 
really good baritone voice and sang with good expression, and 
a very light-complexioned, pasty-faced young man, named Harri- 
man, who did not know one musical note or tone from another, 
and was the laughing stock of all the girls, and finally joined 
the Mormans, sustained the bass; while Mr. Robert Hardie, 
father of the celebrated artist of that name, a fine singer, and 
another man whose name I cannot recall, attended to the tenor. 

The instrumental portion of the choir was composed of 
Charley Bent and Mr. Thomas Gilmor, who played flutes, 
Solomon Adams, who, with his back to the preacher, sawed the 
air (I mean the air of the tunes, of course) upon a bass-viol, 
accompanying his instrument with his voice, but singing no 
words, on account of the difficulty of looking upon a hymn 
book and a music book at the same time, but making the sound 
"sol'' — "sol" — "sol" — "sol" — do duty as such — Gen. Benjamin 
Adams, who puffed his upper lip over the reed of a big yellow 
box-wood clarinet, which had the unfortunate habit of squeak- 
ing out at a right angle to the tune when least expected, and Col. 
Thomas Adams, who sawed out a rather doubtful part from a 
double-bass. Sometimes a Mr. Blaisdell, who had a very rubi- 
cund face, which wore a very anxious expression as he played, 
performed on the last named instrument. Mr. James Whittemore, 
of North Chelmsford, a capital musician, now and then added his 
well played violin to swell the instrumental portion. 

I do not think the choir troubled themselves much about 
rehearsals, and their performances, it may well be imagined, were 
rather inartistic, according to modern standards. Still the choir, 
like Merutio's wound, served, and the congregation was not 
critical. Noise was the object sought, and they certainly suc- 
ceeded in making it. y 


One incident in connection with this village church choir, 
which made quite a sensation at the time, and was very amusing 
to many of the younger and less serious ones of the congregation, 
is worth narrating, I think. It happened one Sunday morning 
that both the leading female singers, soprano and alto, were 
absent, and their places were filled by Martha Adams and Susan 
Bradstreet, respectively, both indifferent singers, and exceed- 
ingly prone to fall off the key. Charles Bent was the leader of 
the choir, if the choir can be said to have been led, — and played 
the flute. Dr. Packard gave out the first hymn, which went off 
very well. The second hymn was to be sung to Dr. Wainwright's 
old tune of "Liverpool," from the Boston Academy, and it was 
evidently selected by Charley Bent in a spirit of mischief, for the 
tune contains a duet in thirds, between the soprano and alto, 
which the rogue knew would trouble the girls. He did not 
count on his own part in it, or the discomfiture which followed. 
As was the custom, the orchestra played the tune through, and 
it was then taken up by the choir. The voices and instruments 
went very well until the duet was reached. Here the rest of the 
choir paused, and the duet began with Charley's flute obligato, 
"Then should my hours glide sweet away." The duet was simply 
dreadful; both voices were off key, and out of harmony with 
each other and the flute. The discord was too much for Charley, 
who was blowing for dear life his accompaniment. The spirit 
of Momus took possession of him. His sense of the ridiculous 
overcame him, his risibilities burst forth into a broad, resounding, 
hearty laugh. The singers sat down disconcerted, and the per- 
formances, so far at least as that tune was concerned, ceased 
at once. Dr. Packard looked forth from the pulpit towards the 
singing seats in surprised and offended dignity, and the con- 
gregation turned around to see the cause of this ill-placed out- 
burst of mirth. In a grieved and solemn tone the Doctor rising 
said, "Let us pray." 



Poor Charley had a fearful reckoning to settle with his 
parents and good Dr. Packard for this extraordinary behavior 
in the Lord's house; while Susan Br ad street said that "the rogue 
gave out that awful tune to plague the girls and she never would 
forgive him." She did nevertheless. 

The old church was once the scene of a great political 
meeting, held during the excited "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" 
campaign for President in 1840. Although I had not yet reached 
the mature age of nine years, I was nevertheless present, and 
remember the events of the meeting as well as though they had 
happened yesterday. The principal orator was Hon. John C. 
Park, of Boston, who from in front of the pulpit delivered an 
impassioned tribute to the character of Gen. Harrison, and a 
horrible phillippic on that of Mr. Van Buren, amid tremendous 
applause which was followed by the singing of the Harrison 
Glee Club of Lowell. I ought to have said that Mr. Park now 
and then paused in his speech to take a drink of hard cider, a 
pitcher-full of which beverage stood upon the table before him. 
"Hard Cider" was a catch-word of the whigs during the cam- 
paign. The church was crowded, and the ladies of the village 
were there in good number. 

Just before the speaker was introduced and while the 
audience was in momentary expectation of the event, Clarissa 
Howard, who sat in Mr. Remme's pew on the east side of the 
church, gave forth one of her great horse-laughs for which she 
was famous, and which on this occasion, was of such a startling 
and infectious character, that the whole atfdience roared, greatly 
to Clarissa's mortification. I have heard Clarissa explain the 
cause of this sudden outburst of merriment, for which I believe 
she held Martha Adams in some w r ay responsible. One of the 
songs sang by the Glee Club was the famous one "Tippecanoe 
and Tyler too," beginning "O what is the cause of this great 
commotion the country through? It is the ball that's rolling on, 
for Tippecanoe and Tyler too," etc. if 


I remember that on one Sunday Dr. Packard or Mr. 
Whitney perhaps, exchanged with Mr. Tracy of Framingham 

I think, and at the close of the forenoon service was about to 
pronounce the benediction, when a large grey-haired man arose 

from a pew in the rear of the church and began to address the 
congregation, throwing out a pretty strong intimation that in 
his opinion the clergyman had not done his duty in his sermon 
and totally disagreeing with him. He was interrupted by Mr. 
Tracy, who said that this was not the time or place for such con- 
troversy, and the grey-haired stranger sat down. The congrega- 
tion received the benediction. The stranger was William Wyman, 
a famous character in the early history of Lowell, who had 
accidently dropped in. He was not an attendant, being a Meth- 
odist, but was quite given to this sort of thing when he saw 
an opening. The original building of Wyman's Exchange was 
built by him. Late in life, and within easy recollection he 
built the famous Wyman's Church on Merrimack Street, where 
Robert Crossly, who sadly misplaced his Hs, used to make the 
services pretty warm, so much so indeed, as to call for the cool- 
ing influences of the police to reduce the temperature by the 
removal of the exhorting, protesting and malaspirating Robert 
to a dungeon cell in the station house, where he would glory in 
the crown of martyrdom, sing sacred songs with great unction, 
and quote Paul and Silas until the arrival of the angel in the 
form of his friend, the clerk of court, who after remonstrating 
with him on his conduct and receiving his promises to appear if 
wanted, generally secured his release. 

Mr. Charles Richardson, a very tall and ungainly man, 
was a pretty constant attendant at church, and occupied a pew 
on the left of the pulpit, looking towards the pulpit. When 
looking at the minister he was obliged to throw his head far 
back in order to see him, on account of the nearness and great 
height of the pulpit. Charles was somewhat of a butt among the 



men and boys. He frequently appeared at church in a high- 
collared, long-tailed blue dress coat with brass buttons, a garment 
more common sixty-five years ago than now. 

One afternoon service he marched solemnly up the aisle, 
just as service was beginning, having pinned upon his back a 
printed paper announcing in large letters a coming shooting- 
match, ornamented with a representation of a turkey, and bearing 
the heading, "Sportsmen Attend," in large characters. You may 
be sure he created a sensation. He deliberately walked into his 
pew, all unaware of his personal adornment, and was taking his 
seat, when Deacon Eben Adams came forward and removed the 
offending paper. It was of course the work of some joker in 
the vestibule, who was never discovered. This was certainly 
carrying a sorry joke altogether too far. i 

Some of the pleasant memories I have connected with 
attending the old church are the Sunday school picnics which 
in summer we were accustomed to have in the neighboring 
woods. A beautiful grove of oaks and pines not far from Sted- 
man Street, between the abrupt elevation then called Mt. Misery 
and the canal, was a favorite spot. It had in it a large bowlder 
which was used as a pulpit. On one of these occasions, at the 
suggestion of the pastor, Mr. Whitney, we voted to change 
the name "Mt. Misery" to "Alt. Pleasant." A beautiful and 
cool spring of water bubbled up near the edge of the meadow 
at the foot of the hill, from which we procured our water. It 
is the present "Mt. Pleasant" spring. 

On two occasions we chartered a canal boat and tow- 
horse, and fitting up the boat with settees and chairs, with our 
baskets of provisions, tables, and other needed utensils, the whole 
school piled into the boat, and went down the canal, through the 
long, wooded, shaded reach of the canal between Middlesex 
Village and North Billerica, until we selected a charming sylvan 
spot, near the 3-mile bridge, perhaps a mile or so beyond the 
present almshouse, where we disembarked, fitted up our tables, 


hung our swings, made our tea and coffee, spread our feasts, 
sang songs, listened to short speeches, and had a delightful 
time. By the way, one of the Sunday school songs we sang 
was the familiar, "Where do children love to go, When the 
summer breezes blow?" etc. 

One of my boy companions in the district school, the 
Sunday school, and later at the old Lawrence Academy, was 
the late Mr. Frank Calvert of West ford. A short time before 
his death, some years ago, he entered a street car at the Middle- 
sex Street Station, in which I was sitting, and after greeting 
me in his hearty, cordial manner, as was his wont, he turned to 
me and sang in my ear the first lines of this old Sunday school 
song. I joined in and we two old men sang together one verse 
of the song as we rode down town, — the old song we sang as 
children 65 years before. The other passengers smiled but they 
did not know our secret. 

The old church stood for many years without being 
regularly used for religious worship, and was sadly neglected, 
being given over to the weather, wasps, and mischievous boys, 
until it was sold to the Catholics, placed upon- rollers, and 
slowly propelled through the fields to the south of the road, until 
it reached a point near what is now called Broulette Street, when 
it took the road and was propelled to where it stands today in 
North Chelmsford. The outside has recently been changed a 
little, but internally, with the exception of substituting an altar 
for the pulpit, it is much the same. 

The bell, which was originally purchased for the church 
by the voluntary subscriptions of the people of the village, was 
sold to the Pawtucketville Society, in the belfry of whose church 
it now hangs; but before it was placed in its new position, it 
was "mounted on wheels and tolled through the streets of Lowell, 
by Mr. William McFarlin, on the day of the execution of John 
Brown. The tone of this bell is much sweeter than any other 



bell in the city. It was cast by the old Paul Revere company 
at Canton, Mass. I have rung and tolled it more times than I 
am years old. 

I have dwelt at some length upon memories of the old 
Middlesex Village church, but I cannot omit to revive the most 
precious memory of all, the venerable pastor of the church, Dr. 
Hezekiah Packard, to whom I have already alluded in this 
paper. Dr. Packard was born at North Bridgewater, December 
6, 1761. He entered Harvard College in 1783, was graduated 
in the class of 1787, was a tutor in mathematics four years, 
studied divinity, was ordained and installed pastor of the Con- 
gregational Church in Chelmsford Centre in 1793, where he 
remained until 1802; removed to Wiscasset, Me., where he was 
pastor of the Congregational Church in that town,' and prin- 
cipal of the Wiscasset Academy until 1830. During this pastor- 
ate he was made a Doctor of Divinity by Bowdoin College, of 
which institution he was subsequently, for many years, a trustee. 
In 1830 he received a call from the church at Middlesex 
Village, then called the Second Congregational Church, accepted, 
and was installed pastor in 1830, which pastorate he held six- 
years. After leaving this pastorate he resided among his chil- 
dren until his death at Salem, April 25, 1849. Mrs. Packard died 
during his Wiscasset pastorate, in 1829, just previous to his 
settlement in Middlesex Village. Dr. Packard's successor in 
1837 was Rev. Daniel Whitney, who recently died at an advanced 
age at Westborough. 

At the time of his settlement over the church in Middlesex- 
Village in 1830, Dr. Packard was unable to obtain a suitable 
house for his accommodation, and was obliged to make a 
temporary arrangement by taking a portion of my father's house, 
the same in which I now reside. This temporary arrangement 
became permanent, and continued for five years, and the intimacy 
thus occasioned was, I believe, pleasant to both families ; certainly 


so far as my own was concerned it was delightful, and the memo- 
ries of these happy days were always cherished by my parents 
as the brightest of their lives. It was believed by them that 
association with this devout clergyman and his accomplished 
and devoted daughter exerted a powerful influence for good 
upon their lives and characters. It could not fail of so doing. 
Dr. Packard was a clergyman and scholar, a Christian 
gentleman of refined manners and high character. Association 
with him, therefore, could not fail of producing lasting im- 
pressions for good. Dr. Packard was greatly beloved by the 
people of his parish, and was regarded by them with high 
veneration and respect. In return he was their faithful teacher, 
counsellor and friend. In those good old New England days 
of sixty or more years ago the step between the clergy and 
the laity was much higher than it is now. He was very fond 
of children, took a deep interest in their training, and always 
greeted them with a cheery salutation. 

I have already referred to the great sorrow which fell 
upon him while he resided under our roof, the death of his 
youngest son, William, a youth of seventeen years, a member 
of the sophomore class in Bpwdoin college, a child of rare 
promise. I have often heard him speak with deep emotion of 
the loss of this dear son, and in his visits to our home it was 
his invariable custom, once at least, during his stay, to enter 
alone the room in which William had died, close the door, and 
engage in long and earnest prayer. To him this room, as he 
assured us, seemed a "sacred and hallowed place." 

It is, however, of reminiscences of him after his dismissal 
from his pastoral charge in Middlesex and after he had retired 
from the active duties of his profession, and when I was of an age 
better able to understand and appreciate this dear family friend, 
that I now desire to speak. At the close of his Middlesex pastor- 
ate he resided among his children in Maine and in Salem, 
Mass. He long maintained a correspondence, with his former 



parishioners, and occasionally paid them a visit. We looked for- 
ward to these visits with pleasant anticipations. "Dr. Packard is 
coming!" How well I remember the happy announcement! And 
when his noble and saintly presence appeared, how he was wel- 
comed with open hearts and affectionate devotion and respect ! 
There are some present here tonight who will, I hope, recall these 
visits to their homes as occasions of great satisfaction, and will 
remember, as I do, how much interest they awakened among 
our parents and elders. He usually preached in the old church, 
one Sunday at least, during his stay. He had great fondness 
for sitting in the evening twilight, and joining my parents in 
singing with great unction some of the ancient fugues found 
in the old leather-bound singing-books of the last century, in 
which my dear mother, who had sat in the singing seats in 
her youth, would sing a weird and strange part called "counter," 
the relation of which to the melody a musician may explain, 
but I, certainly, cannot. 

Dr. Packard was very fond of social intercourse, and was 
a delightful fireside companion and conversationalist. He en- 
livened conversation with story and anecdote, and his account 
of his Revolutionary experiences was to me very interesting. 
He was 14 years of age at the breaking out of the war of the 
Revolution, and on the 17th of June, 1775, while hoeing corn, 
he heard the roar of the cannon at the battle of Bunker Hill. 
Fired with youthful ardor, he with his brother Asa joined the 
Revolutionary forces as a fifer, and was with the army at Cam- 
bridge when Gen. Washington took command. I have heard 
him describe the event with great minuteness and animation. 
"When the general passed by me," said the doctor, "I was so 
awe-struck that I forgot to take off my hat." 

I have heard from his own lips his account of his 
soldier's experiences — the retreat of the American army from 
Long Island — the fight at Harlem, where his brother Asa was 
severely wounded, his sufferings in the hospital, .'the long and 


weary journey home. These and many other incidents of his 
early life formed the subject of many a pleasant fireside talk, 
to which my ears were ever open. 

Although Dr. Packard was by some thought to be a 
gentleman of solemn and severe manner, he was really possessed 
of a great deal of quiet humor. I remember he once asked me 
to spell the word "squirrel." I did so. "Correct," said the 
doctor. "When I was teaching in Wiscasset I tried that word 
on a class of young people, and none could spell it correctly 
until one small boy held up his hand, and I told him to spell it. 
'Sque — sque — sque — r-i-1,' said the small boy at the top of his 

Dr. Packard was a man of deep religious conviction and 
of great earnestness in the work to which he was called. I 
know this particularly from his conversations and his corres- 
pondence. His letters to his parishioners, written while in his 
retirement at Brunswick, are full of deep, earnest and wise 
counsel, are expressive of a broad and catholic spirit, breathe 
love to God and man, and a sincere solicitude for the spiritual 
welfare and happiness of others. 

He was a man of strong', sympathetic nature. 

"By nature tuned 
And constant disposition of his thoughts, 

To sympathy with man he was alive 
To all that was enjoyed where'er he went. 

And all that was endured." 

Truly he "allured to brighter worlds and led the way." 
He loved his old Chelmsford friends, and took great 
delight in his occasional visits to the ancient town, where for 
nine years he had labored in the Lord's vineyard. 

In personal appearance he was tall and erect, of command- 
ing figure, with strong and benevolent features, black eyes, benig- 
nant expression, and, when I knew him, with hair as white as 
snow. His manners were refined and courteous after the fashion 
of the olden times. Intimacy with him elevated, and ennobled. 



His very presence was an inspiration to better living and think- 
ing. Very precious to the very few surviving members of his 
parish are their recollections of this Christian scholar, venerable 
patriot, and kind friend. Although more than sixty years have 
passed away since his kind, sympathetic and friendly voice was 
heard in our homes, its familiar tones in morning and evening 
devotion, in friendly conversation, or in singing the inspiring 
tunes of long ago, and of which, as I have said, he was very 
fond, still linger in their ears. 

A few months ago I stood by his grave in the lovely 
village cemetery of the ancient town of Wiscasset, Maine, where 
he was pastor and teacher for nearly thirty years, and where 
his memory is cherished. It is a quiet, peaceful spot, looking out 
upon the ocean estuary of the Sheepscot. As I read the 
appropriate inscription upon his headstone, the words of the 
old hymn which I have often heard him sing with my parents 
in the twilight, came unbidden to my lips : 

"Ye righteous souls that take their flight, 

Far from this world of pain, 
In God's paternal bosom blest 

Forever shall remain." 

I deem it but right that I should speak of the remarkable 
New England family of which Mr. Packard was the progenitor. 
His son, Alpheus S., was the beloved professor in Bowdoin 
college for sixty years, and at one time its acting president. He 
. was born in Chelmsford. It was he of whom Longfellow, who 
was his pupil, in "Morituri Salutamus," alludes so tenderly. 

His son Charles was long the faithful and beloved pastor 
of the Congregational church in Lancaster. His son George 
was the revered rector of the Episcopal church in Lawrence — 
the Dr. Ed son of Lawrence. His son Hezekiah was a teacher 
in Portland for many years, and in later life connected with 
educational interests in New York, whom it was my very great 
privilege, when I was a young man, to know. His son Joseph 


was a learned and accomplished professor in Fairfax seminary, 
Virginia, and one of the American committee on the revision 
of the Bible. He left two daughters, noble women both, Mary 
and Sarah. 

Childhood reminiscences which omit those of school and 
school days, are sadly wanting in a very important particular. 
I must not commit the mistake. Mr. Lowell says ''the little 
country schoolhouse was an original kind of fortification in- 
vented by the founders of New England. They are the Martello 
towers that protect our coast. This was the great discovery 
of our Puritan forefathers." Our fortification or Martello tower, 
was a hip-roofed building, placed on a lot of land given in trust 
for school purposes, by Cyrus Baldwin, Esq., about the beginning 
of the last century. ; 

I went to school for the first time in the original 
building. The seats were placed on an inclined plane, and 
were divided by three aisles, one on each side, and one in the 
middle, the last named being the dividing line between the sexes, 
the older scholars occupied the higher seats, and the young 
children the lower or front ones. There was an open space in 
front of the teacher's desk, which was partially occupied by a 
large Franklin stove, which was ornamented on each corner 
with a large brass ball. There was a clear space under the 
scholars' desks, so that any rolling article dropped on the floor 
under the desk, would generally make its way down the incline, 
into the level space below. I remember seeing many a marble, 
ball, and sometimes an apple, make its appearance in this way. 
It was immediately confiscated as contraband. A short time 
after I began to attend school, the interior of this room was 
entirely changed in accordance with a plan suggested by Dr. 
John O. Green. 

Two rows of seats, one for the older, and another for 
the younger pupils were placed on three sides of the room, 
giving a much larger floor space for the hearing of recitations ; 



but on the whole, I do not think the change was much for the 
better. The old Franklin stove, which in winter held a good, 
open, wood fire, was a tempting mark for mischievous boys, 
who, when the teacher's back was turned to them, would throw 
percussion caps into the fire which, exploding, would create 
quite a disturbance. The culprits were seldom caught, but when 
discovered were soundly thrashed. The substitution of a closed 
stove for the Franklin removed this temptation. 

My first teacher was Mr. Jesse Clement, of Dracut, a 
brother of the late Asa Clement, so well known to many of us. 
He was a man of fine literary taste, who afterwards removed 
to Buffalo, N. Y., where he conducted a literary publication 
for many years, and was, I believe, also connected with a Buffalo 
newspaper. He was a man of considerable poetic' power, and 
I think published a volume of poems. 

Then followed Miss Mary Ann Perham, a sister of the 
late Dr. Perham, of Lowell, whose glorious black eyes served 
her well in place of rod and ferule. No boy or girl could stand 
a moment before the glance of those powerful orbs. As a 
teacher she was both loved and respected by her pupils. Those 
who knew her later in life as Mrs. Nathan Tyler, will recall 
the dignity, gentleness and bright intelligence of this fine New 
England woman. 

Then came Mr. Southworth, so long of the firm of 
Southworth & Hawes, of Boston, photographers. I began the 
study of geography under Mr. Southworth, and the book used 
was a little one called Brindsmaid's. I wonder if any one 
remembers that book. Mr. Southworth was much interested 
in geology, and I remember being invited with other children 
to his room in the Middlesex Tavern, to inspect a large collection 
of specimens, which were arranged on a table, and hearing 
from him a familiar talk on the subjects of minerals. Mr. 
Southworth died at an advanced age only a few years ago. 


Then came Martha Parkhurst of Chelmsford, long the 
teacher of Chelmsford schools. I remember what Bobby Gilmor, 
who died recently in Ipswich, said to me as we came out of 
school at noon of the first day of the term, "Golly, aint our new 
teacher handsome?" Those who knew Mrs. John A. Buttrick 
will agree with Bobby I am sure. Miss Parkhurst was an 
experienced teacher, was a good disciplinarian, and sometimes 
used a leather strap with reforming severity. She would some- 
times call me up to her desk and ask me to do an errand for her 
to the village post office, at the same time handing me a letter 
to go out in the mail. The superscription in many cases was 
"Mr. John A. Buttrick, Lowell, Mass." 

A word or two about the old school books in use when 
I was a child. I think I commenced with Webster's spelling 
book, but this was displaced by Emerson's soon after I began 
to go to school. At all events, the reading text of Emerson's 
is that which I clearly recall. From Emerson's we passed into 
the "Young Reader," prepared in 1835 by John Pierpont, the 
poet pastor of the Hollis Street church in Boston; (and it may 
be added, if it is worth mentioning, the grandfather of J. Pier- 
pont Morgan). Pierpont also published a spelling book, and 
the "Young Reader" as its title page announced, was to go 
with the spelling book. The Young Reader was filled with 
selections happily adapted to the powers of young children and 
for many years held its place in New England schools. In 
it are a number of new versions of old fables by Pierpont — 
"The Fox and the Crane," — "The Fox and the Hen," the last 
beginning with the familiar line "A white old hen with yellow 
legs," etc., — "The Boys and the Frogs," — "The Spider and the 
Fly, — "Plonesty the Best Policy," and many others. I know 
very little of the school reading books now in use by young 
children, but I doubt very much if many of them are better 
than this little compilation of sixty years ago. 



The geography in use was Olney's. The arithmetic was 
Colburn's for young pupils, and Adam's for the older ones. 
We did not take up grammar until we were old enough to take 
up Smith's. Emerson's History of the United States, a wretch- 
edly printed book, but otherwise well enough, was the book in use. 

I think I may venture to refer to one of the customs which 
prevailed in my school days, and this relates to school manners. 
If the pupil entered the school when it was in session, he or she 
was required to bow or curtesy to the teacher; and when 
called upon the floor to recite in class, at a word from the 
teacher, — generally "manners," the whole class simultaneously 
gave a salutation appropriate to the sex of the pupil, a bow or 
a curtesy. From constant repetition the salutes sometimes be- 
came perfunctory, but they were never omitted.' On being 
spoken to by an elderly -person in the street, it was thought a 
bit of good manners in a boy, to remove the hat. The morning 
salutation was "Good morning" and not "Hello," so commonly 
used today. 

Another of my boyhood teachers was a young man, a 
mere youth he must have been, an undergraduate of Dartmouth 
College, named Hunton, I have forgotten his given name. His 
home was in Unity, N. H. How well I recall his bright, cheer- 
ful smile when he took his place in his desk, and looking around 
upon the expectant and curious faces of his new pupils said: 
"Children, I am to be your teacher this winter, and it will, I 
think, be proper that every morning we look to God for his 
blessing." "Let us do so now," and then in simple words, and 
in reverent and devout manner, he asked God to bless us as 
pupils and himself as teacher, that we might be dutiful and 
diligent, and that he might be faithful and earnest. I shall never 
forget that first prayer of this dear youth. It was a revelation 
to us children, something to which we were nut accustomed, 
and it made a deep impression on all. And so every morning 
that he taught, only four weeks, he opened school with an 


earnest petition to the Divine Helper. Some of the words of his 
morning petitions I can repeat. One was a quotation, "When we 
are laid with the clods of the valley." Alas! how soon for him in 
his budding manhood! *We all loved him. He was so gentle, 
so persuasive, so forgiving, so true. We all felt that he loved 
us as we loved him. He had relatives or friends in Nashua, 
and on Saturdays he was accustomed to pass the Sunday with 
them. At the end of four weeks, he paid his accustomed visit 
to his friends, but on Monday morning he did not appear to 
open school, and word was received that he was ill. The next 
tidings we heard of him was that he was dangerously ill. I 
well remember what sadness and anxiety came upon us at the 
receipt of these tidings, and we hoped he might recover. Soon, 
I cannot say how many days, the sad news came that he had 
passed away. How our child hearts grieved at this bereavement ! 
How we all wept over it, boys and girls alike ! Dear youth ! 
More than sixty years have rolled away since you left us, but 
one of your little boys has not forgotten you, and with him you 
remain a precious memory. 

Boyhood reminiscences in Middlesex Village seventy 
years ago would be incomplete without some memories of the 
old Middlesex Canal, which entered the Merrimack River at 
the village, which, in canal parlance was called "the Head." 
Three stone locks connected the water of the Concord with that 
of the Merrimack. Before giving reminiscences of the canal, 
I will give some facts in regard to its origin and construction 
which do not appear in heretofore published accounts. 


The original Act incorporating the Proprietors of Middle- 
sex Canal, and to which all subsequent acts were in addition 
thereto, was signed by Gov. Hancock, June 22, 1793. The 
names of the incorporators are as follows : r' 



James Sullivan, Oliver Prescott, James Winthrop, Loammi 
Baldwin, Benjamin Hall, Jonathan Porter, Andrew Hall, 
Ebenezer Hall, Samuel Tufts, Jr., Aaron Brown, Willis Hall, 
Samuel Swan, Jr., and Ebcfnezer Hall, Jr. 

This original bill establishing the canal, gave the in- 
corporators the power to "cut" a canal from the waters of 
Merrimack River to the waters of Medford River. It would 
seem, on reading this first charter, and subsequent acts appear 
to confirm it, that it was expected by the projectors that the 
water of Merrimack River would be used, as no reference is 
made to obtaining a supply from any other source. It is a 
curious fact that the original survey of the canal by the engineer, 
or more properly speaking the land surveyor, employed to do it, 
placed the water of the Merrimack higher than - that of the 
Concord. An English engineer, Mr. Weston, was employed 
and the error was soon ascertained and corrected. The year 
1795 another bill was passed which was in addition to the 
Act of '93. 

This Act, which was passed on February 28, 1795, reveals 
the matured plans of the projectors after receiving the counsel 
and suggestions of the English engineer. In Section 2 of this 
Act appears the following: 

''And whereas the said corporation hath petitioned 
the Legislature for an extension of their powers for the 
purpose of making other canals to be connected and to 
communicate with the said Middlesex Canal; the object 
of which petition being to render the waters of Concord 
River boatable as far up as the same may be usefully 
improved for that purpose ; and to improve the banks of 
Medford River so as to render the canal more easy and 
useful ; as well as to open a canal round the shallows in 
the town of Dunstable on the banks of Merrimack River; 
and also to extend said canal to the waters of Charles 
River, in the town of Boston." 1 


In Section 3 of this Act it is among other things provided, 

"That the said Proprietors of Middlesex Canal 
shall be empowered to render the waters of Concord River 
boatable as far as Sudbury Causeway and as much farther 
as the same can ]pe usefully improved for that end; and to 
open any canal at any place in the said County of Middle- 
sex, that may be necessary to connect the said Concord 
River with the said Middlesex Canal for that purpose, 
and also to extend said canal from Medford to the waters 
of the town of Boston or Charles River, in such way as 
to said Proprietors may seem most advantageous, and with 
all the privileges and under the same restrictions and 
regulations as are granted and provided in said Act." 

Under the power and authority of the foregoing Acts 
the Middlesex Canal was built, save that in 1803, on March 2nd, 
the time of building it was extended to three years from June 
22, 1803, the words being as follows: "to complete the same to 
Charles River and to effectuate the means of communication 
between the said canal and the town of Boston across Charles 
River, by boats." 

That the waters of the Merrimack were to be used in 
forming the canal is seen in a proviso found in the last section 
of the Act of '93 which is as follows : 

"Provided also that the waters of Merrimack River 

shall not be so diverted from their natural course as to 

impede, or in any way interrupt the water carriage down 

the Merrimack River to the mouth thereof." 

This proviso was intended to protect the already vested 

rights of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals on Merrimack 

River, which corporation were owners of the canal around 

Pawtucket Falls, now known as the Pawtucket canal. 

While the Middlesex Canal was the first canal built in 
the United States, it was not the first chartered^ 



In 1792 a charter was granted General Henry Knox and 
others to open a canal from some part of the Connecticut River 
to connect with the town of Boston. The incorporators were 
empowered to establish and open a canal from any part of the 
Connecticut River between the town of Springfield and the 
northern limits of the Commonwealth, or from any other 
part of said river, provided they obtain permission from the 
state through which the same may pass, to communicate with 
the town of Boston and the waters of Boston harbor. 

In the interesting articles prepared by Air. Lorin L. Dame 
and Gen. George Stark, which appear in Vol. Ill of the Con- 
tributions of the Old Residents' Association of Lowell, may be 
found a full and satisfactory history of the Middlesex Canal, 
and also of the connected canal system around the .falls of the 
Merrimack between the Middlesex Canal and Concord, N. H., 
called the Union Locks and Canals. Gen. Stark, in his interest- 
ing paper, has omitted to mention the fact that John L. Sullivan. 
the first and for many years Superintendent of the Middlesex 
Canal, was the moving spirit in the construction of the river 
canals referred to by him, which were completed in 1815. 

Mr. Sullivan was a man of great business capacity and 
enterprise, and of untiring energy in what he undertook. He 
conceived the idea of using steam in the navigation of the 
Middlesex Canal, and also of using the same power in towing 
boats up and down the Merrimack. He began experimenting 
with boat models in 181 4, at Charlestown, and I believe received 
a charter from the legislature to aid him in his work. The 
result of his experiments was the building of a steam-boat, a 
stern-wheeler which was operated for some time on the canal, 
but it was found to be so damaging to the canal banks, that its 
use was discontinued. I do not know that it had a name, — I 
have always heard it spoken of as "John L. Sullivan's steamboat," 
and I have always been told that the cellar of what is called 
the "long block," situated on Baldwin Street, the westerly end 


of which stood very near the canal, was originally used as a 
dock for making repairs upon it. 

In the issue of the New Hampshire Patriot of June 22, 
1819, appeared the following: 

"The citizens of Concord have for two weeks past, been 
much gratified with the appearance for the first time, of a steam- 
boat in our river. A good portion of the ladies and gentlemen 
in town, availed themselves of the very polite invitation of the 
proprietors to take pleasure rides up and down the river on Mr. 
Sullivan's steamboat.'' 

This was the famous Sullivan's steamboat. It was the 
purpose of Mr. Sullivan to tow the loaded boats by this steam 
vessel ; but it was found on trial that she had hardly sufficient 
power to pass herself up the rapids, without any' incumbrance, 
and the project was finally abandoned. 

In the contribution by Gen. Stark, already referred to, 
a pretty correct and minute description is given of the canal boats, 
which have long since passed out of existence. I do not think 
the engravings embellishing the contribution give a perfectly 
correct idea of the boats in the particular of length. They were 
longer than the illustrations make them. Strange as it may 
appear, these low flat-botttomed canal freight boats were called, 
in the acts of incorporation, gondolas, although there certainly 
was nothing in their appearance, construction, or use resembling 
the romantic Venetian passenger boat of that name. Very few 
barcaroles or tenor love-songs to the plunking of a mandolin or 
guitar were heard from these practical crafts. 

As late as 1825, Mr. Ezekiel Hale, of Haverhill, was 
authorized by the General Court, to build a canal from Hale's 
Mills to Little Pine Bridge in Haverhill, sufficiently wide and 
deep to float rafts and gondolas. Webster gives this as one 
definition of the word : "Gondola. A flat-bottomed boat used for 
carrying produce, etc., United States." i ( 



In my childhood, a great deal of business was done on 
the Middlesex Canal by a corporation created by the New 
Hampshire Legislature, in 1815, by the name of the Merrimack 
Boating Company. The name was changed in 1822 to the Bos- 
ton and Concord Boating Company, and a charter was granted 
it the same year by the Massachusetts Legislature. My 
recollection is that they employed twenty-five or more boats, 
on the river and canal. They used a great many horses, in 
their canal service, and kept them in a stable at Middlesex 
Village which stood north of the canal storehouse and opposite 
the turning point. This towing work was very hard on horses, 
and they suffered greatly from galling under the collar. Nothing 
was more common than for horses to come in after a trip, so 
terribly injured in this way that it would take a fortnight of care- 
ful nursing to fit them for duty. I know of nothing that would 
excite the anger of my father more than this kind of cruel 
treatment of horses by boatmen; and many a tow hand lost his 
place through his cruelty to the poor animals who toiled along 
the tow-path. 

I suppose I am one of the very few surviving employees 
of the Canal Corporation. I not only worked upon it, but I 
fished in it, I swam in it, I came very near being drowned in it, 
I sailed my little boats upon it, I skated upon it, and I knew 
every foot of it. From early childhood until the close of the 
canal, I knew every captain and boatman who worked upon it. 
They were almost wholly native-born New England men, 
and a very few may now be living. The bow-hands were a 
hard-working, and it must be admitted, although there were some 
exceptions, a hard-drinking class; but I can remember but few 
cases of drunkenness among them when about their business. 
Cases were very rare when a boatman about his duties would 
be under the influence of drink. He knew that meant instant 
discharge, and he governed himself accordingly. When ofT duty, 
however, they were inclined to indulge too freely. The favorite, 


and as I remember, the only beverage, was New England or 
Medford mm, a gallon jug of which somewhat fiery stimulant 
was always to be found in the captain's chest, under the steer- 
ing sweep, in the stern of the boat. 

I can recall with perfect distinctness my first trip down 
the canal. It was made in my mother's care, when I was a 
little fellow about four years old, in the old passage, or as 
some called it the Packet boat. This boat ran three times a 
week from Middlesex to Charlestown, Mondays, Wednesdays, 
and Fridays. It left at 8 in the morning, and arrived at Charles- 
town at about 2. The fare was seventy-five cents. The following 
advertisement appeared in the Lowell papers at the time. 

"Middlesex Passage Boat 

The elegant passage boat, Governor Sullivan, leaves the 
head of the canal in Chelmsford precisely at 8 o'clock, on Monday, 
Wednesday, and Friday. Returning, it leaves Charlestown 
precisely at 8 o'clock, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 
A stage leaves Lowell at 7 o'clock a. m. to bring passengers to 
the boat ; and one will be in readiness when the boat arrives in 
Charlestown, to take passengers to Boston. A stage also leaves 
Riley's, No. 9 Elm Street, Boston, precisely at 7 a. m. to carry 
passengers to the boat, and one will be in readiness on its 
arrival at the head of the canal to take them to Lowell. Fare 
on the boat, 75 cents, from the boat to Lowell 6)4 cents, and 
6 ] 4 cents from the boat to Boston. 

N. B. The boat is large, well furnished, and is under 
the direction of a person who will give every attention to render 
the passage as pleasant and convenient as possible. This mode 
of travel has many advantages. Persons in delicate health can 
travel without suffering the inconveniences to which they are 
exposed in a carriage. The scenery of the country through 



which the boat passes is agreeably diversified, and it will be 
found pleasant to anyone travelling between Boston and Lowell 
to go in the boat and return in the stages. 

Ira Frye, Agent, Lowell. 

S. H. G. Rowley, Agent, Boston." 

I remember with perfect, distinctness some of the incidents 
of this trip. We started from the wharf just west of the Baldwin 
house, and I can remember sitting on the piazza stoop awaiting 
the arrival of some passengers from Lowell, that the boat was 
pulled by two horses, that when we reached a lock Capt. Silas 
Tyler blew a blast on a horn to warn the lock-tender of our 
approach, — that we had dinner in a little cabin, that at one point 
on the canal, near one of the turning points, to which I have 
alluded, the boat was stopped to enable some of the passengers 
to gather water lilies. The year of this trip may be fixed by 
the circumstance that it was the same year when Mr. Lauriat, the 
aeronaut, made an ascension from Boston Common. I remember 
being held up in the arms of some one on the steps of the state 
house in order to see the sight. 

The business season of the canal commenced with the 
departure of the ice, usually the early part of April. Previous 
to beginning operations for the year, the water in the canal was 
drawn ofT, so as to admit of repairs to the large gates, the 
paddle gates, pointing of the stone work, and repairs to the 
aqueducts and banks of the canal. This drawing-off of the 
water was accomplished simply by opening the gates and allowing 
the water to escape into the Concord and Merrimack, and by 
means of sluices along the line of the canal, which being opened, 
allowed the water to escape into an adjoining stream or brook. 
One sluice-way, opening into Black Brook, was situated near 
the present Mt. Pleasant Spring, east of Stedman Street. 


This annual dra wing-off of the water in the canal, was 
a great event to the boys, who were thus enabled to capture 
many fish that had failed to escape with the water, such as eels, 
chubs, suckers, hornpouts, and other small fish. 

With the repairs on the locks in the spring, I early 
became connected. The cement at the joints of the hammered 
stone composing the locks, owing to the action of the water, 
and the friction of rafts, required renewing every year, and 
stagings were hung in the locks, from which this work of point- 
ing was done, and I became very expert in handling the trowel 
in this sort of work. 

When the canal was drawn off, it was a common thing 
for the boys to crawl down the paddle culvert of an upper lock, 
and make their way down along the brick subterranean conduit 
which ended near the bottom of the lock below, this being the 
way in which the water was carried from an upper to a lower 
lock. There were two of these culverts to each lock. I can 
recall the shivery gloom of this passage, the watery odor which 
pervaded these water-worn stone and brick culverts, through 
which we used to crawl. 

In the summer, portions of the canal were affected with 
a growth of aquatic grass and weeds which sometimes became 
so great as seriously to interfere with the passage of boats and 
rafts. That portion of the canal known as the "swamp," be- 
tween Middlesex Village and North Billerica, a distance of 
between three and four miles, was particularly troublesome. 
To get rid of this water-grass, men were employed to walk in 
the water, which in some places was deep enough to cover their 
shoulders, and with a scythe mow down this offensive vegetation. 

I can remember how queer they looked, moving through 
the water, with their heads alone visible as they stooped to 
swing their scythes, cutting their swaths of rank grass, like men 
in a hay field. The grass rose to the surface of the water in 
heavy masses, and by the flow of the canal was carried to the 


locks at Middlesex, where to prevent clogging of the gates, 
and rid the air of a very offensive odor, it was necessary to 
lock it through into the Merrimack. 

Mr. Patrick Guyton and his brother, the former the father 
of Mr. Patrick H. Guyton, of this city, were long in the employ- 
ment of the canal company, and performed this very necessary 
labor. Both were Irishmen of the good old stock, bright, sober 
and industrious men; I knew them well. 

As soon as I became strong enough to handle the heavy 
gates, say about the age of fourteen, I was employed every 
spring and summer for some years in tending the locks, and 
doing the usual clerical work incidental thereto. In addition to 
the usual lockage of boats, bands of lumber logs, ship timber 
for the hulls of vessels constructed at Medford and East Boston, 
spars and masts from the forests of the upper Merrimack to the 
number of 40 or 50 "shots" each, a "shot" representing in its 
passage through the locks a boat, were common enough, and 
beginning at 5 o'clock in the morning with an interval for meals, 
I have many a time seen the last "shot" enter the canal when it 
was too dark to make out a pass-port without artificial light. 
Of course this did not occur every day, but often every week. 
Strung together this long line of "shots," extending from the 
locks down the canal sometimes quite a distance below the 
sluice-way east of Stedman Street, would be taken in tow 
by Col. Bowers or his sons Alpheus or Sewall, with their two 
yokes of fine oxen, and a horse leader, and slowly but surely 
delivered in Medford or Charlestown. 

It may not be uninteresting to consider for a few moments 
the method of passing boats and "shots" through the locks, a 
matter which I have never seen presented by anyone who has 
undertaken to write about the old canal. It will be demonstrated 
before I am through with it, that this was a sort of service which 
called for experience and careful attention to a, number of 


details which do not readily occur to one familiar only with 
the theory. 

The difference of level between the surface of the water 
in the canal, and that of the Merrimack at ordinary stages of 
the water, was about twenty-five feet. There were three locks 
about 80 feet in length, with of course four sets of gates, 
called balance-lever gates. At the head of each lock there were 
what were called paddle-gates, that is, gates placed at the 
portal of a stone culvert, on each side of the lock, which paddle 
gates swung upon centres. When opened, the water was 
allowed to pass by brick culverts, around the heels of the main 
gates, into the locks below. Bear in mind that this is the water 
of the Concord, and not of the Merrimack. Not a drop of the 
Merrimack ever entered by the locks into the Middlesex Canal. 

In addition to these side culvert water-ways, there were 
three paddle-gates inserted in the main gates for a similar 
purpose, one in the west upper lock south gate, and two in the 
lower lock gates. These lower lock gates were made necessary 
from the fact that as the lock immediately connected with the 
Merrimack it was obviously impossible to use the side culverts. 

We will now lock up a boat from the Merrimack to the 
canal. The loaded boat appears at the entrance of the lower 
lock. The tender's first act is to fill the upper lock level with 
the canal. He then opens the two main gate paddle-gates, of 
the lower lock, which when opened, draw down the water of 
the lower lock to the level of the Merrimack. This done, he 
throws open the main gates one at a time, after opening one he 
crosses to the other side and opens the other main gate. The 
loaded boat then entered the lower lock, and after it is in the 
lower main gates are closed. The tender then goes to the lower 
paddle-gates of the second lock, which from leakage is partly 
filled, and opens them to fill the lower lock, in which the boat 
now floats, taking care to do so very gradually, for the reason 
that if the boat is heavily loaded, and has little free-board. 



too much water may sink it. The boat begins to rise, in the 
lower lock — and the water to lower in the second lock. If the 
tender found he had so much leakage in the second lock as 
to more than fill the lower one, he avoided an overflow, by 
opening for a few moments one of the lower paddle-gates, until 
the lower lock was evenly filled. When the lower lock was 
evenly filled, there was water enough to permit the passage of 
the boat into the second lock. The lower gates of the second 
lock were then opened, and the boat was passed into the second 
lock, and the main gates closed behind it. The tender then 
went to the paddle-gates of the upper lock, and at this point 
he was called upon to exercise the greatest care in filling his 
lock. He was to see to it that the water of the upper lock was 
sufficient to fill his second lock, and if he was in doubt he had 
to run to one of the main gate paddles, and let in enough water 
from the canal to make up for any threatened shortage. Mean- 
while the loaded boat is slowly rising. When the water and 
the boat reached the level of the second lock, the lower gates 
of the upper lock were thrown open and the boat passed into 
the upper lock. 

Care had to be taken with a heavily loaded boat, and the 
water was not allowed to fall by leakage, for if the boat took 
ground on the bottom or miter-sill of the upper lock, it might 
sink in a moment, or perhaps break in two. To avoid this 
possible event, the tender went forward to the upper gates or 
canal gates of the upper lock and allowed water enough to 
run into the lock from the canal to make up for any leakage in 
the main gates of the second lock. 

The boat having now entered the upper lock, the main 
gates are closed, and the upper lock is also carefully filled to a 
level with the canal, by opening its paddle-gates. When the 
lock was filled the main gates were opened and the boat was 
passed into the canal, not however until the collector had 
examined the cargo, compared it with the bill of lading, and 


given the skipper a passport through the canal, with the name 
of the owner, captain and description of cargo. Of course all 
these particulars were entered in a book kept for the purpose. 

You will notice that in the description J have given of lock- 
ing up a boat, the great thing to know about and that was ac- 
quired only by experience, was allowances for leakage. 1 have 
had many an old boatman tell me when 1 was a boy, that they 
would not dare to lock themselves through. There was too 
much to think about in the operation. 

Time will not admit of speaking as I might of some of 
the men whom I have met and known, who were connected with 
the old canal. I have often seen Air. Caleb Eddy, for so many 
years the agent of the company, a civil engineer by profession, 
and the father of Robert H. Eddy, so long an eminent patent 
engineer in Boston. I knew Hon. Richard Erothingham, the 
distinguished historian, who was long the collector at Charles- 
town and agent of the corporation during the closing years 
of its life. Mr. Erothingham made frequent visits to Middlesex 
Village, and it was my privilege when a lad, after he had tran- 
sacted his business with my father, to drive him to Billerica 
in our top buggy harnessed to our old sorrel mare; — also Air. 
Daniel Wilson, and Mr, Israel Colson of North Billerica, who 
had charge of repairs — both men of sterling worth, and to' whom 
my father was warmly attached. 

I could speak of some of the men who were connected 
with the canal as owners and proprietors of boating lines, or 
engaged in their management; — Air. Luther Roby of Nashua, 
only recently deceased, Air. Joseph Chase, and Air. John Adams 
of Litchfield, Air. Daniel Littlehale of Tyngsborough, Air. John 
Wilson of Chelmsford, Air. Joel Dix of Billerica, George Rand 
of Middlesex, and especially Air. Reuben B. Sherburne, for 
many years the agent of the Boston and Concord Boating' 
Company, whom my father loved as a brother. Some of his 
descendants now reside in Tyngsborough. 

2 3 8 


I wish to speak of only one, whom I remember very well, 
and whose personal characteristics made a considerable im- 
pression upon me when a buy, Mr. Benjamin Blood of North 

Mr. Blood owned a number of canal boats and employed 
a good many men in the business. He was called familiarly, 
on account I suppose of the alliterative initials of his name, 
"Old double B." Mr. Blood was a man of great natural ability 
and business rectitude, but was somewhat obstinate in main- 
taining his opinions and on occasion was inclined to be irascible. 

I remember hearing a story told of him that he once 
served on a jury in this county, and showed during his term, 
in the consideration of cases, a considerable amount of un- 
yielding independence of opinion, much to the annoyance of his 
fellow jurors who disagreed with him. Mr. Blood was stubborn, 
and the result was a number of disagreements. One case was 
submitted to the jury in which the question was whether the 
plaintiff should receive more or less than $10, if more, he re- 
covered costs of suit, if less, he recovered none. On polling 
the jury for their opinions, eleven were for giving the plaintiff 
over $10, which carried costs, but Mr. Blood, when asked for 
his opinion, replied, "I will give the plaintiff nine dollars, ninety 
nine cents, and nine mills, and not another mill." Expostulation 
was in vain, and the jury appeared in court and reported a 
disagreement. They did not have at that time Judge Hoar's 
charge in Tuey's case in 8 Gushing to read to the jury in order 
to enlighten them, and the jury were not ordered back to their 
room ; but the presiding judge, having learned the cause of so 
many disagreements, called Mr. Blood to the bench and told 
him he might be excused from attendance for the remainder of 
the term. 

Mr. Blood was a man of exemplary life — never used pro- 
fane language, but would sometimes exclaim when excited or 


provoked, "Mighty thunder," which was the nearest approach 
I ever heard him make to strong talk. 

Mr. Blood was a strong temperance man for the times, 
never using liquor himself, and discouraging its use hy others. 
He used to make special contracts with his help in regard to 
the use of liquor while in his employment for the boating season. 
I remember, when a small boy, hearing a wrathful dispute 
between the old gentleman and one of his boat captains, named 
Kirk Howe, on the canal wharf, which arose out of one of 
these special contracts. 

Howe signed an agreement to work for Mr. Blood for 
the season, for $20 a month and board if he totally abstained 
from liquor. If he failed to totally abstain, he wa$ to receive but 
$16 and board. Howe had come up the canal and had passed 
through the locks and down the river with his boat and cargo 
to the landing back of the Market Building in Lowell, where 
he unloaded. The day on which the quarrel occurred Air. Blood 
learned in some way that Howe had been seen drinking liquor in 
D. L. Richardson's cellar under Mansur's building, that old- 
time eating house being quite near the city landing. Accordingly, 
the same afternoon, when Howe reached the head of the canal 
at Middlesex Village on his return trip, the old gentleman 
was in waiting, determined to test the truth of the information. 
Approaching Howe with his hand covering his eye, he said, 
"Here, Kirk, I want you to look in my eye and see if you can 
see what's in it." Howe took the lids of the old gentleman's 
eye in his fingers, and separating them as far as possible, peered 
into the eye. "I can't see anything, Mr. Blood," said the un- 
suspecting Howe. "Look again Kirk" said Mr. Blood. Kirk 
again opened the lids and again peered into the eye. Before he 
reported the result of his last observation, the old gentleman 
started back exclaiming, "Kirk, I've got you now ! You've 
been a drinkin' rum. I suspected it before, I ,can smell your 
breath, and now I know it. It's $16 a month and board 


and not one cent more now." And then followed the wrathful 
quarrel which I heard. Howe abused the old gentleman shame- 
fully with foul epithets, hut the old gentleman was firm, and 
Howe had to stand by his contract, or lo.^e his work for the 
remainder of the season. 

One morning a great excitement was created among the 
villagers, the children particularly, over the arrival at the store- 
house wharf of a canal boat from Boston, loaded from stem 
to stern with a collection of stuffed wild animals, lions, tigers, 
camels, snakes, etc., also a number of glass cases containing all 
sorts of birds, and a variety of other curious things. The boat 
had on board quite a number of passengers, among them Mr. 
Daniel Lambert, of Leicester, England, Miss Charlotte Temple, 
Miss Eliza Wharton, of Reading, Mr. Richard Crowninshield, 
of Salem, the dead body of old Mr. White of the same place, 
a Greek officer in a terrible moustache and short petticoats, a 
dozen Swiss bell ringers, and a number of other important 
persons whose names I do not remember. These ladies and 
gentlemen were not in the flesh, to be sure, but in a very good 
quality of wax, and although great pains were taken by the 
boatmen to protect them from the weather by the use of tar- 
paulins, we children were allowed a good long peep at these 
extraordinary people by those having them in charge. This 
was a part of the old New England Museum collection, owned 
by the late Moses Kimball of Boston, en route for Wyman's 
Exchange, in Lowell, where it was exhibited many years. I 
believe these wax figures were destroyed in the Museum fire of 

The Merrimack, in those early days, presented a much 
more animated and picturesque appearance in the summer 
months than it does today. That beautiful reach of the river 
extending from the Falls to the great bend opposite North 
Chelmsford, and which I wish this Society would christen this 
evening, as the "John Sagamore Reach," in remembrance of the 


plantation on its southern, shore, was especially charming. On 

its broad bosom laden and unladen canal and river boats were 
seen in considerable numbers, some being rowed against the 
wind, by two hands in the bow, rowing from the rower with 
crossed oars, while others taking advantage of the favorable 
wind had set up their mast, and on it raised a broad square sail, 
the hoisting rope of which was confined to a pin near the steers- 
man in the stern of the boat. 

Thoreau in his "Week on the Concord and Merrimack 
Rivers," his earliest and many think his best work, gives a very 
charming and characteristic picture of the boatman's life on 
the river. 

Both shores of the river were fringed with a great 
variety of trees, great and small. On the opposite, and then 
Dracut shore, there grew a great man)' sassafras trees, and we 
used to cross the river in boats to gather their fragrant and 
valuable roots, the bark of which, combined with wintergreen, 
pipsissiway, sarsaparilla, white pine buds and other simples, 
formed the ingredients composing the summer beer, or diet- 
drink, which every good New England housewife knew how to 
brew, and every healthy and thirsty New England boy and girl 
knew how to drink. 

At the time of laying out the canal, in 1793, nearly all 
of the land needed by the company on which to erect their locks 
and buildings was purchased of the owners in fee, and was 
their absolute property, while most of the other portion was 
taken by right of eminent domain, and on the discontinuance 
of the canal reverted to the original owners or to their representa- 
tives. In 185 1, the Proprietors began to dispose of their prop- 
erty. The land in Middlesex Village, north of Middlesex Street, 
consisting of about six acres, on which stood the locks, store- 
house, collector's office and a cottage house and barn, was con- 
veyed to my father by deed dated September 5, 185 1, which 


was executed by Ebenezer Chadwick, treasurer of the cor- 
poration, with the corporate seal affixed. In this conveyance 
the Proprietors reserve their right to the canal until the charter 
should be surrendered, and required that the grantee should 
remove the bridge over the canal, and grade down the road 
to the approval of the Selectmen of Chelmsford. 

The last boat to pass through the canal was on the 
25th of November, 1851, owned by Dix & Rand, in charge of 
Samuel King, and loaded with eighteen tons of stone and two 
cords of pine wood. But with all these marked symptoms of 
approaching dissolution the old canal did not in law die until 
1859, when the Attorney General by a coup de grace } ended its 

Many have regarded the discontinuance of the Middlesex 
Canal as a serious mistake. I think there is no doubt of it. My 
father was strongly opposed to it, and urged Air. Eddy and Mr. 
Frothingham to prolong its existence. I have heard him say 
that the time would come when the loss of it would be keenly 
felt. There is no cheaper method of transportation than float- 
ing; and if the old canal were doing business, I am sure coal 
freights would not reach 85 cents per ton from Boston to 
Lowell as they do today. North Billerica might not be what 
it now is, so far as water power is concerned, but had we the 
canal today not only Lowell but Billerica, Wilmington, Woburn, 
Winchester, Medford and Somerville would have all the ad- 
vantages derived from a water avenue connecting them with 
Boston harbor. 

The only relics of this old public work at Middlesex 
Village are the collector's toll house erected in 1832, which I 
have endeavored, with poor success, to save from the depredations 
of tramps and mischievous boys, — the cellar of the storehouse, 
and a large part of the stone-work of the lower lock, which 
although under the water of the inflowing river, is still intact. 


The Concord Boating Company owned a very vicious 
horse, a great black, long-legged animal, with but little hair 
on his tail, from which last named peculiarity he was called 
"old rat tail." This horse, at night particularly, was positively 
insane. He would squeal and kick all night, and during the 
day was dangerous to handle. The boatmen would not use him. 
He kicked and severely injured another horse named "Robin," 
and my father told his nephew, James Goodspeed, who took 
care of the horses, to take him over to Mr. Bowers' stable, 
where he could not injure the other horses. He did so, but at 
Bowers' stable he grew worse, kicked and squealed all night, 
and was a perfect demon of calcitration. 

In the morning one of Woodward's Groton coal teams, 
driven by Woodward's son, an overgrown country boy, was 
passing on its way home, and my father hailing the boy asked 
him if he wanted a horse. The boy stared with open mouth, 
and managed to say he did, and my father told him he might 
have "old rat tail" if he would take him away. He told the boy 
he was vicious and to look out for him, and by some means 
they managed to get him out of the stall and hitch him with a 
strong rope and head halter to the tail of the big coal cart, 
and after some pulling back, away went "old rat tail" on the 
road to Groton. 

In a few days the boy came down with a load of coal 
on his way to market, and stopped to leave the borrowed halter. 
He gave this account of his experiences as my father used to 
tell it. He used the boy's words. "Wall, I took him along, and 
he went purty well, tried to back once or twice, but the halter 
held and he gin it up, and come along. When I drove inter 
our yard, father see me and hollared. 'What ye got there 
hitched on behind? Where d'ye git that boss?' and I said, 
'.Hadley give him to me,' and then he said, 'Who' and I said, 
TIadley down at Middlesex,' and father said, T believe ye lie,' 

but T tole him that was so, and then father said, 'What d'he 




give him to you for?' and I said, 'cause he kicked and squealed 
SO like thunder,' and then father said, 'lie aint glandery, i.-> he?' 
and I said, 'No, only kickin' and squealin,' an' father says, 'Wall 
this beats me,' an' then I unhitched him an' told father to look 
out for his heels, an' led him inter the barn, an' hitched him in 
a stall at the end of a row of cattle stanchels. Wall he looked 
kind er wild and sot his ears back but he didn't kick, an' father 
said, 'He aint a bad boss I guess, if ye use him well,' an' we 
hitched him for the night but 1 didn't take no chances with his 
plaguey heels, and got out of the stall through the hay rack, an' 
left him for the night." 

"Wall in the middle of the night by Gosh! there was 
the darndest noise goin' on in that barn as though the whole 
buildin' was comin' down, an' father an' I got up an' went 
out, an' if that rat-tailed old critter hadn't kicked down the stall, 
and kicked off the whole side of the barn an' the boards was 
allying around everywhere, an' then father said. 'Let him kick, 
perhaps he'll kick himself to death, blarst him,' but he didn't, 
an' then we went to bed, an' father said in the mornin', 'What 
ye goin' to do with him?' an' I said, 'what shall I do with him?' 
an' father said, 'trade him,' an' I got him out an' led him down 
to the road an' waited till a feller came along and I swapped 
him for an old fiddle." 

There is, perhaps no feature of our' New England life, 
and the same may perhaps be said of the whole country, in 
which there been a more complete and radical change, during 
the past seventy years, than in the means of travel and trans- 
portation of persons and merchandise. Railroads were hardly 
thought of, at all events were not successfully used, until about 
1830, and, within my easy recollection there was not a foot of 
rail between Boston and the states of New Hampshire and 
Vermont, save the short line from Boston to Lowell. 


I can remember when the only means of transporting 
goods and merchandise from Boston to the north was by means 
of huge wains called baggage-wagons, drawn by not less than 
six, and oftener by eight, horses. There were regular lines of 
these immense wagons, and they passed through the village 
with such regularity that we children knew just when to expect 
them, and I can remember sitting with other children beside 
the road and awaiting the passing of these wagons, and as they 
passed us choosing, with other children, the particular pair of 
horses which we called ours, and came to know them. These 
great wagons were covered with canvas tops, and the goods 
within were securely protected from the rain by thick tar- 
paulins. In winter, long lines of two-horse pung sleighs, loaded 
with butter, cheese, apple-sauce, dressed hogs, maple sugar, and 
other country produce, were constantly passing on the way to 
Boston market, and returning loaded with supplies of all kinds, 
purchased or exchanged in Boston. Many of these country 
produce drivers stopped for the night or to bait at the Adams 
Tavern in North Chelmsford and at the old Middlesex Tavern. 

There were two and some of the time three lines of 
stages passing through the village, all starting from the American 
House in Lowell, which was, in those days, the White Horse 
Tavern of this vicinity. One line ran to Groton and Townsend, 
another to Nashua and Concord. In summer the arrival of the 
north bound mail stage at the village store was the great morn- 
ing event. It was due at about 8 o'clock, and when it was 
announced by sentinel boys, that the stage had reached Black 
Brook, all the men and boys and girls sometimes, gathered under 
the piazza of the tavern near the store entrance, to await its 

Old Deacon Eben Adams was postmaster, and a great 
stickler for the enforcement of the United States laws relating 
to the receiving, opening and delivery of mails, was the centre 
of the group. This scene is before me. I canj hear the rattle 


of the coach as it comes up the road. It reaches the turn of 
the road at Mr. Nathan Tyler's; four bay horses, sometimes six, 
full of fire and action, are attached to the coach, Corbin is on 
the box, holding the ribbons with confident ease and not a little 
honest pride, and sitting' In the midst of a group of outside 
passengers, ladies among them carrying parasols, and wearing on 
their heads huge bonnets which almost conceal their pleasure- 
lighted faces. On it comes with the rattle and chucking of 
wheels, the jingle and clatter of harness, the puffing of horses, 
and the rocking of the coach, a gaily painted and lettered vehicle, 
having as we now see six or perhaps eight inside passengers, 
who look eagerly out, to get their bearings, and make remarks, 
while we stare at them in eager curiosity. Corbin reaches down 
under his seat, and seizing a mail bag, throws it off with easy 
experienced grace into the extended arms of old Deacon Adams, 
who runs with it into the store, and behind the counter to his 
little blue desk where he empties the bag, selects the Middlesex 
letters, puts his own letters with the letters for other points on the 
line in the bag and starts for the door. 

While the Deacon has been inside Corbin has been enter- 
taining the ladies with a brief history of the place, and we have 
sized up every passenger, and counted the trunks. The old 
Deacon appears with his mail bag, puffing with his run, throw r s 
it into the hands of Corbin, who receives it, places it in the seat- 
box, draws up his reins, and with a sharp crack of his long- 
lashed whip the impatient horses spring forward with the coach 
and passengers up the incline of the road over the canal bridge, 
away they go up the road, and are soon out of sight at the turn 
near the Major Howard place. 

One of my very earliest recollections, is a ride I took to 
Nashua, when I was a very little boy, in company with my 
mother. It was before the building of the Nashua and Lowell 
Railroad in 1838. 



I distinctly recall the fact that, when we entered the 
stage at our door, it was without passengers on the inside, and 
we had that part of the coach to ourselves, and the rocking of 
the stage as we went along was at times so great that my 
mother and myself were now and then lifted from our seats, 
to my mother's discomfort and my amusement. I can remember 
laughing in great glee as I was humped into the air by the 
motion of the coach. 

The building of the Nashua and Lowell Railroad, which 
was completed in 1838, is very fresh in my memory. The 
grading of the road opposite the village, along the Howard 
farm, began at the cut just below North Chelmsford, the 
material removed from the cut being used for the purpose. The 
grading was carried on by the use of a woodei) track, on which 
were pushed by hand, small dump cars. Near the cut at North 
Chelmsford, at a point on the river called the "Crow-Eddy," 
were erected a number of rude wooden structures, banked and 
sodded at the sills, for the use of the Irishmen employed in the 
work of grading, which collection of houses was called the 
"Paddy Camp." I frequently visited this camp, and looked with 
wonder upon the strange people who inhabited them. 

The track of the railroad was carried over the basin of 
the canal, as the entrance to the Merrimack was called, on a 
piling bridge about 100 feet in length, and the driving of the 
piles was a source of great interest and pleasure to me. The 
raising and lowering of the pile hammer was done by hand, as the 
application of steam to this work had not been accomplished. 
This was in 1838, and I was only six years old. I saw the first 
engine and the first train pass over the road. The first cars 
were the same as those in use on the Boston & Lowell road, — 
English compartment carriages; but they were soon displaced 
by cars of the present style, although much smaller. 

I recall a serious accident which occurred while the work- 
men were blasting through the ledge near the Xfiddlesex Village 



station. A premature blast severely wounded the body and de- 
stroyed the eyes of one of the laborers. I was present when lie 
was carried away, and I shall never forget the pour fellow's cries. 
lie recovered, however, and lived in Lowell for many years after. 
I do not know his name. 

The first station at Middlesex Village was a small struc- 
ture about 10 feet long and 8 feet wide ; at one corner was a signal 
post and signal, and on the signal post was affixed a hoard 
bearing the following" words: 

"All persons wanting passage in the cars will please raise 
the signal horizontal by pulling the cord" 

The notice was entirely destitute of punctuation. 

When I was a boy, the coasting for the small boys and 
girls was down the terrace on the Howard place opposite my 
house, across the narrow pond at the base of the terrace and so 
on as far as the impetus of the sled would carry. For the older 
children we had the coast from the summit of Baldwin's Hill, 
down the hill to the northwest, through an opening in the wall, 
still existing, into Pine Street, down Pine Street to Baldwin 
Street, down Baldwin Street as far as the brook, — a long, and 
some of the way an exciting coast. The hazardous point of this 
coast was at the opening in the wall on Pine Street, at the base 
of the hill. The steep slope of the hill gave the coaster a great 
impetus at the point named, and the sharp turn into Pine Street 
was made when the coaster was going very rapidly, and called 
for careful steering if the sled was heavily loaded. I have seen 
many a lively spill at that point. 

On bright moonlight winter nights, when the coasting- 
was good, the hill was thronged with a merry crowd of boys and 
girls, — the boys in their fur caps and neck-coseys, the girls in 
their warm cloaks, fur tippits and pumpkin hoods, and the 
shrieks of happy laughter on the crisp cold winter air could be 
heard far and near. 


We used to play baseball when I was a boy, and the game 

in its general scheme and features was much the same as played 
today; but it was played without any code of rules, and without 
any of the scientific training and drill as we know it today. Of 
course we had our teams, or "sides" as they were called, with 
pitchers, catchers, home plate, bases, runs, fouls, and the rest, 
but our playing- was the simple pastime of youth, without any 
of the "fan" or "bleacher" interest in the game which obtains 

Innings were decided by a toss of bat between captains, 
fist over fist, and if there was enough at the top of the bat 
above the last fist to enable the leader to swing the bat around 
his head by taking hold by his thumb and forefinger, without 
dropping it, his side had "innings," otherwise not. 

We made our own bats and balls. Our balls, which 
were about the size of those in use today, were made by cutting 
up an old india-rubber shoe into narrow strips, and winding 
them into a ball about two-thirds the size of the ball desired, 
then an old stocking leg would be unravelled, and the yarn 
tightly wound over the india-rubber ball, and the whole covered 
a durable leather covering. To be a good ball maker was re- 
garded as quite an accomplishment among the boys, particularly 
the cutting and sewing of the leather cover in "ball stitch" as 
it was called. As the game was played in those days, there was 
good reason for this soft covering of the ball as will presently 

We had no umpires and therefore no one to call strikes, 
or make a row among the bleachers, no face shields or catching 
gloves. Three strikes, as now, called for a base run, but the 
baseman was not caught out on the run but hit or "plunked" 
out by the ball, a proceeding which with the ball now used, 
would result seriously, T imagine. Hence the need of a ball of 
considerable softness. Even as it was, T have seen some painful 
hits ; the new fashion is much better. There was no public 


interest in the game as now ; as I have said, it was merely a boy's 
amusement, nothing more. Sometimes on fast-days in the 
spring a number of men would play the game, but such events 
were not common. 

In my childhood, the celebration of the national holiday 
was a much more decorous and rational demonstration, even on 
the part of the young, than it is today. The day, it is true, was 
ushered in by the ringing of the old church bell at an un- 
comfortably early hour, and the firing of guns and pistols; but 
the miserable and unworthy Chinese abominations called fire 
crackers, fit only to frighten away devils in a Chinese grave- 
yard, and cannon crackers, toy pistols, five cent tin horns, and 
cow bells, were not then adopted as the means of giving fitting 
expression to patriotic enthusiasm. The American youth of 65 
years ago, was happily free from these means of making the day 
hideous, and himself a nuisance. 

On the morning of the 4th the great act of the villagers, 
old and young, was the hoisting of the flag upon the staff which 
was placed beside and was supported by the old oak, on the 
corner of Middlesex and Baldwin Streets. The upper, and 
smaller staff, when not in use, stood beside the lower and larger 
one, on the same stone base ; but when the flag was to be dis- 
played, the smaller pole was hoisted nearly its length, which 
lengthening of the whole structure gave free play to the flag 
above the top of the old oak. Before this was done, however, it 
was necessary for some one to climb the tree, and run the hoisting 
cord through the truck at the top of the smaller pole ; and here 
was the chance for some active climber, who with the line tied 
around his middle, and with a crowd of men and boys watching 
his movements, ascended the old oak as far as he could by the 
limbs, and then "shinned' to the top of the small pole and 
placed the cord in its place. After the climber had descended, 
and the flag had been hoisted into place, then came, a great haul 
and tug by all hands, men and boys at a heavy tackle and fall, 

: # 


by which the smaller pole was elevated into position, and that 
done, and the rope made fast at the foot, amid the cheers of the 
crowd, the old hag floated in the breeze. This was the great 

morning event in Middlesex Village, 65 years ago. 

I cannot now recall a national holiday on which we 
children were attracted to Lowell to witness or share in a 
celebration. If we ever were it made so little impression on me 
that I cannot remember it. 

The great temperance movement about 1839 and 1840 
had in it a very important and, as I regard it, a very beautiful 
feature, the organization of the children of the country into 
the "Cold Water Army," and the 4th of July was selected as 
the day on which to make its most imposing demonstrations. 
Thousands of children, of all ages, dressed in their best, with 
music, banners, flowers, and what was infinitely more beautiful, 
happy, joyous faces, moved in long processions through hundreds 
of New England villages, to some shady grove, where they 
heard speeches, sang their songs of the virtues of cold water, 
partook of a generous collation, and returned home tired but 

I can remember a number of these glorious childhood 
celebrations. They gave to the young a pure and ennobling jo) 
to the day, worthy of its real significance which I wish could be 
realized by the children of today. 

In my childhood, the wild passenger pigeon was very 
common in New England and appeared in large flocks during 
the period of migration. Great numbers of these birds were 
caught in nets on "pigeon-stands/' as they were called. A number 
of these stands w r ere placed on the knolls or small hills to the 
west of the village, and some persons, notably our neighbor, Mr. 
Jacob Howard, were very expert in taking them. The stand 
was a level square cleared of grass on the top of a knoll, with 



poles placed around it on which the birds could light, and grain, 
wheat and rye commonly, was scattered on the smooth level 
surface of the hill, and fragrant extracts, especially bergamot, 
which were supposed to attract the bird.-., were scattered about 
the stand. The birds were caught in a net, which was large 
enough to cover the stand when sprung, but when prepared 
for springing the net was held in restraint by flexible poles and 
the common figure 4 escapement, or release. A small house, 
built commonly of pine boughs, placed a little distance from the 
stand, afforded concealment to the catcher. From the figure 4 
there went a small cord to the hand of the operator, by which 
the net was released and thrown. When the birds settled down 
upon the stand and began to iced, at the proper moment the 
catcher sprung his net which, covering the birds, prevented their 
escape. Two persons were generally employed, one to spring the 
net and kill the birds by pinching their heads, the other to hold 
down the net and prevent the game from escaping. 

Immense numbers of these birds were caught in the 
manner described, every year, and potted pigeon and pigeon pie 
were delicious dishes when prepared by the hands of a good 
New England housewife of the old days. 

I remember, when a very little fellow, of going to the 
circus one evening. I presume my father's business during the 
day prevented him from taking me at any other time, or he would 
not have allowed me to have remained up so late. At all events 
I went with him, and remember a good deal of what I saw and 
heard. The circus was Turner's circus, which in the '30s was 
the best thing of ' its kind, and travelled all over the country. 
The circus tent was pitched on the Tyler land, opposite the 
homestead on Middlesex Street. I remember sitting on my 
father's knee, not far from the ring, and with what interest I 
looked upon the crowd of people, and watched the hoisting of 
a circle of lighted candles which surrounded the centre pole. 
I remember something of the ring riding, but strange to say I 


recall nothing of the clown's work. My memory seemed to seize 
upon one act performed during the evening, and that was the 
singing and dancing of a man named Clarke, as a negro, whom I 
thought a genuine article. A large door was brought into 
the ring and on it he sang and danced a number of songs, 
to my great delight. Two of his songs made a deep 
impression upon me. One was "Billy Barlow" of which I 
carried away only two lines, "O dear, I'm ragged I know, O, isn't 
it hard for Billy Barlow. " The other was, "Such a gitten up 
stairs I never did see, Such a gitten up stairs." 

How we both laughed at the antics of this fellow who I 
thought a comical, genuine darkey. Negro minstrelsy was 
hardly out of the shell in those days. 

In some remarks I made at the reception of the chief of 
the St. Francis Indians, which the society did me the honor to 
print in No. 4 of Vol. 6 of its Contributions, in speaking of the 
visits of the Penobscot Indians to this vicinity, over sixty years 
ago, I said "that in those days Indian families in considerable 
numbers of the Penobscot tribe were accustomed to come every 
year in the summer season to this vicinity, and pitch their tents 
in the neighborhood of their old fishing place on the river, at 
Pawtucket Falls. They used to camp upon Musquash Island, 
near the present location of the Lawrence Corporation, among 
the pines near the Guard Locks, and on the land of the Canal 
company, at Middlesex Village." 

The spot last referred to is a field upon which was 
formerly a considerable orchard, just east of the canal locks, 
and abutting the present road to the railroad station in Middlesex 
Village. One large lodge or tent, which was pitched at the 
northeastern corner of the lot, was occupied by a lame Indian 
named Newell and another Indian whose name ,1 cannot recall, 


their squaws, a number of young Indian women, and a small 
tribe of Indian boys and girls. They came from Oldtown, 

The other lodge was pitched in a hollow, near the centre 
of the field, and was occupied by a son of old Mr. Newell, and 
his squaw, named Mary. My father, who had charge of the 
land, was very willing to allow them the use of it, and here for 
a number of years, in my childhood, "in the good old summer 
time," the Indians wove their baskets and other Indian wares, 
which they sold to visitors in the village and city. The)' did not 
bring much basket stock with them, but obtained it in the woods 
in this vicinity, ash being then more plentiful than now, and 
prepared it by pounding upon the ash logs with an axe, and in 
a short time were able to remove most of the woo'd in the form 
of long thin strips, which were again split to a thinness required 
for their baskets. They had vegetable dyes for coloring. 

I said in the remarks from which I have just quoted 
that we boys were in the habit of playing with the Indian 
children. We went further than that ; Robby Gilmor and myself 
decided that we would play Indian, and accordingly, under a large 
apple-tree, which is still standing, near the east bank of the upper 
lock, we erected a tepee or wigwam which was made of four fence 
rails, placed quadruped, the ends united at the top by a strung 
cord, and having a covering of some old sail cloth. I was the 
man In Ian, and Robby, a handsome black-eyed boy of about 
my owii age, was my squaw. Here we held forth as Indians, 
tried to make baskets in Indian fashion, practiced at shooting 
with the bow and arrow ; and here we once tried to pass the 
night, but were unceremoniously brought home and ordered 
into pale-face beds, by our anxious parents. However, as soon 
as the other boys heard of our wigwam and what we were 
about, we had no end of troublesome callers, who wanted to 
join the tribe, and go on the war-path, and were obliged to give 


up our little aboriginal drama. That we did not wholly give 
up our Indian performances may be illustrated by the following 

One eccentric character who lived in Middlesex Village, 
in my boyhood, was an old Irishman named Richard Faulkner. 
He was familiarly called Old Dick Faulkner. I never knew his 
history, or how he happened to land among- us. If old Dick 
himself knew, which I am inclined to doubt, he never imparted 
the information to any one. Irishmen were not so much in 
evidence sixty-five years ago as they are now, and we looked 
on old Dick much as Trinculo looked on Caliban. He was 
allowed a room in the Willard Howard house, but he earned 
his living by sawing wood for the villagers. Old Dick was un- 
fortunately a good deal given to drink, but his mental condition 
varied with his kind of tipple. On old New England rum he 
was chipper and good-natured, but on hard cider he was cross 
and dangerous, particularly to small boys, whom he appeared 
at such times to dislike. 

I remember that once when he was in a cider mood, he 
caught by the collar and shook a young playmate of mine, Robby, 
who consulted me on the best means of revenge. The result of 
our deliberations was that we resolved to turn Indians and make 
a secret attack upon him in Indian fashion armed with bows 
and arrows. We each had, as all small boys of my boyhood had, 
a good hickory bow, and we made up in a hurry a lot of white 
pine arrows, say a dozen apiece, and started on the war-path. 

Old Dick was engaged in sawing wood for Mrs. Baldwin 
in the yard of her house, and watching our opportunity, we 
crept towards him, concealing ourselves behind the garden 
fence. We put our arrows through an opening in the fence and 
began our attack. An arrow hit him in the back. He stopped 
his saw, looked around, and began to swear. He picked up the 
arrow, looked at it, and broke it. He turned his back towards us 
and looked towards the road. Two more arrows 'from our Indian 



battery plunked him in the back, and another knocked off his 
hat. He now swore worse than ever, but could not seem to locate 
the enemy. During this pause firing of course ceased. He 
started for the barn thinking the attack might come from that 
quarter, and as he turned from us we let fly arrows as fast as 
we could shoot. This was clearly a mistake in our Indian 
strategy. It uncovered our battery and located our ambush to 
the enemy. He saw us and advanced in full force, giving a full 
volley of Celtic oaths. Our safety was in retreat. We retreated, 
and soon left the attacking party far behind. I do not believe 
Old Dick ever knew who ambushed him. Of course all this 
was very wrong, and we both deserved a punishment, but we 
had our revenge all the same. Robert and I never played Indian 
again. ; 

The village disturbance known as the "Mullens row" 
occurred when I was a boy of nine years, but I distinctly 
remember hearing it the subject of talk at the time, and with 
the actors in it, — I refer to those who were made the subjects of 
criminal proceedings, — I was well acquainted. The facts I 
derived from conversation with them. 

Early in January, 1840, the usual quiet and repose of 
the village was seriously disturbed by a small sized riot or, more 
properly speaking, demonstration, which was brought about by 
the following facts: 

A woman of highly respectable birth and connection, of 
exceptionally good opportunities, but of weak mind and morals, 
from some cause which was best known to herself and her home 
friends, lived alone in a tenement in one of the cottages belong- 
ing to the Glass House Co., at the corner of what is now Pine 
and Baldwin Streets. The house was quite genteelly furnished 
with nice furniture, a piano, upon which it was said the owner 
could perform, forming a part of the establishment. 


A "ramping, roaring- Irishman" named Mullens, who 
came from nobody knew where, was suspected of improperly 
associating with this woman, and the good people of the village 
were much annoyed and scandalized by their conduct. Events 
soon transpired which left no doubt, if any existed, in the mind of 
any one, that their conduct had been viciously criminal, but con- 
siderable sympathy was felt for the woman who was weak- 
minded and silly and thought to be the victim of the evil wiles 
of a low-minded, bad man. Mullens at once became an object 
of contempt and disgust to every decent man and woman in the 

Feeling against him ran so high that a dozen or fifteen 
young men came together and decided that such a mean character 
as Mullens should no longer remain in the village,' and on the 
evening of January 13 they went in a body to the house of the 
woman where he was stopping, called him out and ordered him 
to leave the village at once, on pain of being roughly handled if 
he refused. Mullens left at once, and it was hoped that the village 
was rid of him, but on February 1 he reappeared at the old stand 
apparently thinking the breeze had blown over. 

Mullens, like many another of his race, was fond of liquor, 
and could not resist the temptation to visit, in the evening, the 
tavern bar for a drink, when his presence in the village was at 
once known. It did not take long to gather a crowd of 
young fellows who, more for a lark than anything else I suspect, 
surrounded the front door of the old tavern for the purpose of 
assisting Mullens to a free ride out of the village he had so 
flagrantly disgraced. In order to provide him with a proper 
vehicle on which to make his exit, a long fence rail was provided, 
which was selected with special reference to the sharpness of its 

Learning that Mullens was at the bar imbibing, a boy 
was sent in to inform him that a man wished to speak with him 
outside. Mullens wiped his chin and unsuspectingly came out 



to the door, when he was at once seized by the crowd, and in 
spite of his outcries and promises, placed astride the rail 
where he was held securely in place by a couple of young fellows 
while the others bore him on their shoulders, and amid the 
howling of Mullens and the laughter and jeers of the crowd which 
by this time was considerably augmented, the procession started 
for the Lowell line, which at this time was on Middlesex Street, 
near the house of Mr. Christopher Baron. Rev. Mr. Whitney, 
then pastor of the village church, boarded at Air. Nathan Tyler's, 
and being in his study, the windows of which looked out on 
Middlesex Street, hearing the noise and tumult, came forth in 
his dressing-gown, and being a professed non-resistant, earnestly, 
and it was said, tearfully pleaded for the release of Mullens; 
but the crowd was determined to see the thing 'out, and bore 
Mullens down Middlesex Street, giving him now and then a 
vigorous jounce calculated to make his seat upon the rail as 
uncomfortable as possible. On reaching the Lowell line Mullens 
was given a grand boost across into Lowell and fell flat upon 
the soft mud of the street. Lie, thus relieved, but besmeared, got 
up and fled towards Lowell, while the party of "rough riders" 
returned to the village. But the matter was not to end thus. 

Full of Celtic indignation, savage and saddle-sore after 
his inglorious exit from the village, Mullens applied to the 
Police Court for a warrant against the young fellows. I am 
inclined to think that there was some delay in issuing the process, 
which arose from the fact that, as the evening was dark and the 
procession bore no lights, Mullens was unable to identify his 
enemies; in fact the complaint, which is before me as I write, 
drawn by Mr. Albert Locke, clerk of the court at the time, 
and justice of the peace, as first prepared, gave only three or 
four names, the other defendants being described by dress or 
occupation, which descriptive words were subsequently erased 
and the correct names of eight of the party, obtained probably 
by careful inquiry, inserted. The charge was riot, laid in two 


counts, one on the evening of January 13, the other on the 
evening of February i, and set forth with all the depressing 
and painful particularity then demanded by the rules of criminal 
pleading at common law. Upon this complaint a warrant was 
issued, returnable before my venerable and learned predecessor, 
Judge Locke, and placed in the hands of my dear old friend, 
Sheriff Butterfiekl, who promptly arrested the defendants and 
took them before the court for trial. 

On the 8th day of February the case was tried before 
Judge Locke and it occupied the whole day. The court room, 
which was situated as now in the Market Street building, and 
included the rooms now occupied by the Police Commissioners, 
was crowded with interested spectators, the village people, who 
generally sympathized with the young defendants, 'being there in 
full force. I recall this day with perfect distinctness. A 
venerable and excellent lady, now living, then a young girl of 
twelve years, was a witness on the side of one of the defendants, 
who by the way, was the only one acquitted, the others being 
held for examination by the grand jury, but I cannot learn that 
any further proceedings were had. 

About 1842 there appeared in New England a number of 
Latter Day Saints or Mormon preachers seeking to make 
proselytes to their faith. At this time the headquarters, so to 
speak, of the sect was at Nauvoo, Illinois, a city founded and 
built by them of which Joseph Smith, the founder of the sect, 
was mayor. These preachers were very active in their work 
and from a certain class secured many followers. One of these 
proselyting Mormon preachers appeared in our village and ex- 
pounded the tenets of the faith to the village people for a number 
of evenings in the old schoolhouse. He was an illiterate man, 
but had a glib tongue and was a powerful singer. I was per- 
mitted to attend two or three of these meetings — and I remember 


that, with other boys who were present, when the preacher sang 
a song which had a catching chorus, I piped up with all my 
might of voice. 

Of course being only a lad at the time I was not much 
impressed by a good deal of his harangue, but one point in it 
made such an impression upon my mind that I am able to recall 
it. He was urging the practice of immersion as necessary for 
the scriptural ordinance of baptism, that sprinkling was not 
enough, and used this remarkable argument in its support, 
something after this fashion : 

"Now my friends , we Latter Day Saints believe in 
immersion, the good old-fashioned Baptist immersion ; sprinklin' 
won't answer. Why, my friends, what did Christ say to his 
disciples when he called 'em? lie said, 'Come with me and I 
will make you fishers of men,' didn't he? That's so, wasn't it? 
Well, fishermen catch fish out of the water, don't they? Of 
course they do; don't catch 'em on land, do they? Well then, 
how were the disciples to fish for men unless they fished them 
out of the water, and to fish them out they must first have 
been in the water." The logic of this argument reminds me of 
the famous syllogism of John Phoenix about David's harp. 

I remember also that he urged his hearers to become 
Mormons in case they were afflicted with any disease, assuring 
them that conversion to that faith was almost sure to work a 
complete cure. An old fellow named Cochran, a shoemaker, who 
lived with his family in the Blood house, with whom the preacher 
boarded during his stay in the village, and who was afflicted 
with some sort of a sore on his lower jaw, was, as it turned out, 
greatly influenced by this assurance. He consulted my father 
on the subject of joining the Mormon church. I do not know 
what advice my parent may have given him, you may be sure 
it had some fun in it, but he told us that the old shoemaker's 
idea of the matter was thus tersely stated, "I don't care a darn 



about the religious part of it, but if jinin' and bein' baptized by 
him will cure my infernal old jaw, I believe I'll try it." 

That he did so will soon more clearly appear, but how it 
affected his "darned old jaw" I never knew. 

The pasty-faced young man of whom I have spoken as a 
member of the village choir, named llarriman, and a sister of 
Mrs. Cochran, were the first converts, and were baptized by the 
preacher, early one morning in the Merrimack River. 

In the north part of the Blood house there lived at the time 
of this Mormon episode a French Canadian couple named 
Geneau. Geneau was a little, lively, chattering fellow who spoke- 
very imperfect English, a good sort of a man in his way. but 
his wife was a very corpulent lady, fair and forty, weighing not 
less than two hundred pounds. Her size was a great trouble to 
little Geneau, who used to say of her: ''My wife ees too beeg, 
she good wife 'nough, but too much wife; when she turn in de 
bed in cold night she take all the clothes with her and I freeze ; 
O, she good wife but too beeg." 

Well, fat Mrs. Geneau attended the meetings, and to the 
surprise of everyone announced herself as a convert to the Mor- 
mon faith. When little Geneau was told of this startling domestic 
intelligence he laughed, shrugged his shoulders and exclaimed, 
"O I don' care, she poor Catolique anyway, may make good 
Mormon mebbe, if she like de preacher feller better as me, she 
may, I don' care." 

Shortly after this interesting announcement was made 
it was made known throughout the village that Mrs. Geneau and 
Mr. Cochrane would be publicly baptized into the Mormon faith, 
in the waters of Middlesex canal, at the south end of the aqueduct, 
and opposite the Long Block, at three o'clock in. the afternoon of 
the following Sunday. It is hardly necessary to say that an event 
of this novelty called forth not only a lively interest among the 



village people, but secured a large attendance at the time and 
place. Of course with other boys 1 was present and witnessed the 

I hope no one will regard me as making improper light of 
or treating with unbecoming levity the events of this occasion. 
The historian must deal with his material truthfully and exactly 
even if sometimes he risks his reputation for seriousness. There 
is much comedy as well as tragedy in "philosophy teaching by 
example." This is a world of smiles and tears, without either it 
would be a stupid place indeed. Good Dr. Lyman Beecher said 
he had to laugh one Sunday in his pulpit when he saw a lively 
and imaginative boy pretending to hammer a hot iron represented 
by his finger after he had heated it in an imaginary forge, by 
thrusting it into the hair of a red haired man in the pew in front 
of him ; Dr. Beecher was very human. 

The exercises opened with prayer, exhortation and the 
singing of a Mormon hymn by the preacher. After this Mrs. 
Geneau and Air. Cochrane, the converts, arrayed in what were 
deemed appropriate habiliments suited to the occasion, took their 
places at the t(\gQ of the water. The first candidate for the 
rite was old Cochran. In order to get sufficient depth of water 
it was necessary to wade nearly to the centre of the canal, which 
was done by the preacher and Cochran, and the ceremony per- 
formed without any difficulty, and Cochran walked ashore, 
leaving the preacher, who awaited the coming of the female 
convert. Mrs. Geneau, somewhat thinly clad, hesitatingly 
entered the water, and the preacher noticing her timidity, 
and fearing perhaps that her courage might desert her and lead 
her to turn back, gallantly came towards her and assisted her 
into deeper water. 

Now the passage of boats through the canal naturally 
had a tendency to draw all silt and mud to the middle, of the 
stream, where it reached the depth of a number of inches. 
On this slippery mass the Mormon preacher and the corpulent 


Mrs. Geneau were now standing-, and when she was immersed 
in the usual way, the feet of the unfortunate lady slipped on the 

slimy footing, so that she was not only unable to rise out of the 
water by any contribution of her own strength, but her great 
weight was too much for the strength of the preacher, who after 
tugging at her with all his power to lift her out of her helpless 
condition, and fearing disastrous consequences, anxiously and 
excitedly called to old Cochran for help, to which he manfully 
responded, and together they tugged at her until she was brought 
to the surface and helped ashore in a most deplorable con- 
dition, spouting water, groaning, and some bystanders said, utter- 
ing criticisms on her treatment, hardly in harmony with even 
Mormon ideas of propriety. She was placed on the grass, and 
some of the Gentile women present nursed her into comparative 
calmness, but every now and then she would give expression to 
her feelings in pretty strong terms. 

Writing of the Alormons reminds me of the great Millerite, 
or end of the world, excitement which prevailed throughout the 
country just prior to 1843. We have had some knowledge of 
this belief since that date, but believers have apparently been 
satisfied to announce the end of all things as near at hand with- 
out setting a date. People of today cannot possibly imagine 
the wide-spread belief which existed among a large and 
respectable, if not intelligent class of persons, in the teachings 
of William Miller, the great advocate of the belief, and from 
whom it derived its name. Not only a large number of ordained 
clergymen were believers and advocates, but thousands of lay- 
men were earnest and active supporters. 

Belief in the second coming of Christ is as old as the 
Christian Church. It was one of the fundamental teachings 
of the early Christians, who believed the Kingdom of Heaven 
and the end of the world were at hand. The near approach 



of this wonderful event had been predicted by the apostles, and 
the tradition of it preserved by their earliest disciples. Scoff 
or laugh as we may at the ridiculous and childish preparations 
made for the coming" of the event after a day had been fixed, 
and the specious and absurd arguments they used in sustaining 
it, in the leading and dominant idea they were only following the 
teachings of the primitive church, but went further in fixing a 
day and date, which the latter did not assume to do. They 
thought the 24th Chapter of Matthew and the first Epistle to 
the Thessalonians meant as much to them as to the early 
Christians, and who shall say they were not right? 

The interpretations of the prophecies which Miller gave 
were ingenious and plausible, and appeared to many minds not 
merely fairly, but absolutely, conclusive. The seeming sincerity 
of the man was no slight factor of strength, no doubt. 

I especially remember Mr. Benjamin Spalding, of Chelms- 
ford or Westford, a lay preacher, as very active in the work. 
He held a number of meetings in the schoolhouse in Middlesex 
Village, which were largely attended by the villagers more for 
curiosity I fear than from any other reason, for I do not 
remember that he made any converts. He was an earnest, pious 
soul, sincere I make no doubt, who aided his address by ex- 
hibiting a large chart on which were drawn men and beasts and 
a great mass of figures, having at the bottom as the final wind- 
up and result of the whole business the ominous and startling 
figures, 1843. 

Preparations for the great event were of such a kind 
as hardly to be believed at the present day. Converts were taught 
that the righteous were to be caught up and safely cared for in 
some intermediate place above the world while the wicked 
planet and its wicked inhabitants were being destroyed, and that 
accomplished, they were to descend to earth, now purified, and 
the home of the blessed ; another teaching of the early church. 
Ascension robes therefore were needed and prepared for this 


great event. As an emblem of the purity of the wearers they 
were made of white material. 

Miller's followers lost all interest in life except as it had 
reference to the end, made no preparation for themselves or fami- 
lies, as regards food, clothing, fuel, gathering or harvesting crops, 
because as they claimed, there would be no need for these 
necessaries of life after October 22, 1843. It is absolutely true 
that unbelieving neighbors were obliged to gather and harvest 
the crops of Millerites and make provision for their families 
for the winter of 1843 and 1844. 

Instances were common in which property, both real and 
personal, was disposed of by gift to friends or strangers, as 
useless, or of no value to owners in view of the impending doom ; 
but how the donor expected the donee to enjoy of profit by the 
gift, as all were involved in the same general catastrophe, does 
not clearly appear. In the hurry and excitement of preparation 
for departure, that matter probably failed of consideration. 

As I look back upon these days and recall these events 
it does not seem possible that they could have occurred in New 
England no longer ago than 1843. 

I will conclude this account by relating a little incident 
which came under my notice. On the arrival of the great day, 
the 22nd of October, 1843, (by tne way it was my birthday — 12 
years old), I was up early to see what would or would not 
happen. My father had arisen before me, and as I came out of 
doors, was saluting a neighbor, who was strongly suspected of 
being more than half a convert, with a pleasant "good morning." 

"Well, the day has arrived, Mr. , for the end of the 

world according to Miller," said my father in his bantering way. 
"I don't see that it gives any sign as yet of being in any way 
different from other days at this time of the year, — do you 

Mr. ?" "Wall," said Mr. , "can't tell yit, 

little too soon I spose." Then giving a sniff he added, "Seems 



to me I notice a kind of queer smell in the atmosphere, don't 
you ?" 

"Can't say I do," said my father, "What does it smell 
like? — not brimstone, I hope." 

"Wall, no, not exactly that, hut kind of peculiar, it seems 
to me. Wall! Wall! we can't tell yet, — too early I guess, — may 
be somethin' in it, — mebbe not, — can't say," and the half way 
convert ended the interview by entering his house to await events. 

The Tyler muster field in Middlesex Village in my child- 
hood was much larger than it is now. It embraced the whole 
territory extending from Black Brook westerly along Middlesex 
Street to its present westerly boundary. A number of houses 
have been built upon the easterly portion, a street has been built 
through it from Middlesex Street to Princeton Street, the 
remainder has been divided by two rows of bush hedges, so 
that this ancient parade ground, the scene of so many martial 
displays of the Massachusetts Militia, has been sadly curtailed 
of what were once fine and ample proportions. For many 
years this was a favorite muster field, being very level and well 
adapted for marching purposes, and conveniently located. 

I can remember being taken by my father to the field 
during a muster, of seeing the marching troops, listening to the 
music of the bands, and the squealing of fifes and the rattle of 
drums. I recall walking along beside a long row of canvas 
booths, where oysters, gingerbread, pies, cider and Melvin's 
beer were doing a thriving business. I remember that my father 
pointed out to me a Lowell company which he said was the Lowell 
Phalanx, and I took so much notice of them that I am now able to 
describe their uniform, which was blue, with a Polish cap, from 
the top of which drooped a blue fountain plume. 

The public were, as a rule, generally excluded -from the 
parade ground by a line of sentries, but it was possible to get 


by them if one were in uniform or a musician. The musicians 
were not in uniform, and it was necessary to carry about you. 
some musical instrument, to identify you as a member of the 
band. Accordingly, if any one were fortunate enought to own 
or borrow an old clarinet, key bugle, bassoon, trombone, or any 
other old musical affair (I believe they drew the line at fiddles) 
he was admitted as a musician. I remember hearing my father 
say that once while he was walking on the parade ground at a 
muster on the Tyler field, he met old Mr. John Knecttle, a boat- 
man who lived in the village, who was carrying in his hand the 
slide of an immense bass trombone. Knowing old John could 
not play on anything except a pike pole or steering sweep, and 
amused at the sight, he asked what he was doing with the in- 
strument, and to what band he belonged, to which old John 
replied, "I got in as music. A Townsend feller had an old 
trombone and he divided it, gave me one half and kept the 
other, and the guard passed us both, all right." 

Now that I have mentioned Mr. Knecttle, I think I will 
give him a passing notice. He was for many years a boatman on 
the canal, and for some time captain of a boat. He lived in the 
village, and had a large family of sons and daughters. He was 
a man of a good deal of natural wit, was very industrious, but 
was chiefly remarkable, as I remember him, for his extraordinary 
gastronomic powers. I have heard no end of stories in regard 
to his food consuming performances, many of them mere ex- 
aggerations no doubt; but this one told me by his young son, 
Dan, who said he was present at the time, and of which he 
seemed rather proud, must, I think, be true. 

Dan said his father came home one evening, after the 
rest of the family has supped, and sat down to a loaded table, 
and being as usual pretty sharp set, devoured every particle of 
food, including a whole chicken, and drank nine cups of tea. 
His wife then commenced frying doughnuts, and he ate them as 
fast as she fried, until he had eaten twenty-six. when finding- 



she could not get even one ahead, she threw down her frying 
fork in dispair, and refused to fry more. Whereupon John 
rose from the table, declared he was hungry, and leaving the 
house walked down to the village store, and bought and ate 
two whole sheets of Bradt's molasses gingerbread. This was 
little Dan's story, and I have no doubt he told the truth. 

Returning to the subject of musters. I remember attend- 
ing a muster in North Chelmsford, when I was a small boy, in 
company with a neighbor boy of about my own age. We were 
each given a ninepence (12^2 cents) by our respective fathers,, 
to spend as we pleased, and we started off for the tented field 
bright and early. 

I should have said that the evening before, the Morgan 
Rifle Company of Pelham, N. H., under the command of Capt. 
Gage, marched through the village on the way to the field. 
They attended by invitation, I suppose. The company was 
dressed in a dark uniform, with large shako caps, out of which 
towered a red and white fountain plume, and were armed with 
breech-loading rifles. The lieutenant of the company was my 
dear old friend, the late Gen. At wood, who was a very fat man, 
and as he marched behind the command in martial stiffness, he 
excited the smiles of adults, and the derisive and, of course, 
grossly disrespectful laughter of the small boys, who called him 
the "fat hind-cap'n." I have no doubt it was the appearance of 
this fine company that quickened our desire to attend, and as I 
have said, we were off bright and early. The muster was held 
in the large field belonging to the Adams farm, north of the 
railroad, and was the same field afterwards used by Gen. Butler 
for a similar purpose. 

I have no idea how we managed to get within the 
lines, but we certainly did so, without the aid of a divided 
trombone, and had a complete run of the whole field. Of 
course a great crowd was present, and there were, as usual, a 


large number of booths used for the sale of oysters, ginger- 
bread and all sorts of drinks. The companies present at this 
muster, as I remember, were the Lowell Phalanx, Groton 
Artillery, Marlboro' Rifles, Boxboro' Rifles, Townsend Light 
Infantry, and the Morgan Rifles. 

During our peregrinations among the booths we had this 
experience. The day was warm and we became thirsty. I laving 
a ninepence to spend, we looked about for some cooling drink. 
( )ne stand displayed a number of large glasses containing, 
as the proprietor said, egg-nog, three cents a glass. Cheap 
enough. Now we boys had not the slightest idea of what egg- 
nog was composed. We knew of course that eggs entered into 
it, but what else we were ignorant. The drink looked inviting, 
it was not dear, and after some deliberation, we decided to have 
a glass of it. We each did so, and being thirsty, we drank it off 
at a draught, and in so doing imbibed a pretty stiff dose of New 
England rum. After the deed was done each looked at the 
other for full half a minute before speaking. I remember I 
broke the silence by saying to my companion, "John, that drink 
had rum in it." John's reply was equally positive, "Mine was 
as full of rum as could be." 

What had we done? Here were two boys pledged to 
total abstinence, and prominent members of the Cold Water 
Army ( T had carried a banner) drinking rum at a muster, violat- 
ing our pledges, doing as drunkards do. O, it was a dreadful, a 
terrible fact ! We solemnly pledged ourselves each to the other, 
never to disclose our awful secret. Fortunately we experienced 
no remarkable or ill effects from our unwitting tippling. 

A closing feature of this muster was a sham fight, common 
in those days, and a number of the members of the Pelham com- 
pany were injured by the bursting of their breech^loading guns. 
The twin brothers Currier, of Pelham, N. TL, were musicians in 
the band of this company, one playing the drum, the other the 
fife. . 



The glass works of the Chelmsford Glass Company were 
located at Middlesex Village the same year the canal was 
opened, in 1804, and remained here until about 1840, when they 
were removed to Suncook, N. H. The reason for selecting Sun- 
cook was on account of its proximity to the sand bordering a 
pond which was deemed very valuable as a glass making stock. 
I believe this sand did not prove to be what was anticipated. 
I perfectly remember the old glass house and its surrounding 
buildings. One of the cottages for workmen remained standing 
until about a year ago when it was destroyed by fire. The 
chimneys are still standing. Mr. William Parker was the agent 
and chief owner and he lived in a two-story house still standing, 
but somewhat changed in appearance, just south of the works, 
which were nearly under the great elm tree, between the road 
and the canal, the latter being to the west. The main building 
was 124 feet long and 62 feet wide. 

Mr. Allen in his history of Chelmsford says that in 1820 
there were appertaining to the manufactory about 20 families, 
consisting of 40 men, 20 women and 40 children, — 100 in all. 
1 think this number was very much reduced some years before 
the removal of the works. There were, as I have said, other build- 
ings used in carrying on the works. One of these, called a pot- 
house, being situated near the present southwest corner of Bald- 
win and Princeton Streets. Nearby was a building called a 
mixing house, where the proportion of materials was adjusted 
by experts. 

Most of the workmen engaged in the blowing and other 
higher operations of manufacture were Germans. Mr. Remme, 
whose memory as well as that of his wife and adopted daughter, 
is so dear to some of us, was a German, and for some time 
superintendent. Mr. Hirsch, the father of Mrs. Ephraim Moore, 
who lived on Pine Street and recently deceased, was a German. 
Of course you have all seen or read the singular epitaph on the 
gravestone of Mr. Stickelmire, in the old Chehhsford burial 


ground : — Mr. Stickelmire was a German and at one time super- 

When a little boy, I can distinctly remember going into 
the glass house and observing the work of glass blowing. The 
children who lived near the works were in the habit of bring- 
ing to school what we called "glass crackers," which were made 
by letting a drop of moulten glass fall into water which suddenly 
cooling entangles a small amount of air. On breaking the 
slender portion, the thing breaks with quite a loud report. Of 
course we now recognize the familiar Rupert drop of the natural 
philosophies. Some children used to come to school with their 
pockets rilled with these little Ruperts. They were not at all 
dangerous, the explosion causing the glass to take the form of 
a fine powder. 

Mr. Eben Adams, who lived and died in the first house 
on the left from Middlesex Street, and familiarly known to 
many of us as "Uncle Eben," was the clerk and bookkeeper of 
the concern. Mr. Fred S. Geer, well known to Lowell people, 
so long in the employment of J. & J. M. Pearson, and who died 
only a short time ago, was a glass cutter at these works. The 
glass still in use in many of the old houses in this vicinity was 
manufactured at these works. Most of the glass in my own 
house is Chelmsford make. 

The canal was a great convenience to these glass works. 
The canal boats bringing wood, sand, potash and other materials 
consumed by the works, were unloaded at the doors. 

I remember a fire which occurred at the glass house 
when I was a small boy, and of seeing the little Phoenix engine 
doing duty in playing on the fire. This little hand engine was 
filled with water by passing buckets from the canal. I remember 
standing with a group of children and seeing my father in the 
line of bucket passers. 

The old "Phoenix" engine company was an organization 
long connected with Middlesex Village, and was at one time 



in its history, for the times, a pretty efficient body. I do not 
know the exact date of its origin ; it was, probably, some time 
in the '20s. It held its regular meetings in the tavern, and was 
composed of most of the active male residents of the village. 
My father was at one time captain of the company, and while 
under his command, it did good service at a fire in North Chelms- 
ford, at Leach's foundry. 

The engine was a small hand machine, which threw water 
with considerable force, but had no suction hose, and was filled 
by connecting links of buckets or pails. Most of the members 
had leather fire-buckets, inscribed with the names or initials of 
the owner, which, when not in use, were hung in the hall of the 
house. Some of these old fire-buckets are still to be seen. 
Not long ago I saw hanging over the big fire-place in the 
entrance hall of the Profile House at Franconia, N. H., the fire- 
buckets of our old neighbor, Mr. Samuel F. Wood, who was an 
uncle of Mrs. Greenleaf, the wife of the landlord. 

The fire-buckets of Captain Nathan Tyler still hang in 
the hall of the Tyler mansion on Middlesex Street. 

The old fire company maintained a sort of struggling 
existence until about the middle of the '50s, but died at last, and 
the engine was disposed of as old junk. The last public appear- 
ance of the old machine was at a fireman's parade in Lowell, 
when it attracted much attention. The fire ladders of the com- 
pany were kept in a low, long, narrow shed, between the church 
and the hotel carriage-shed. 

Mr. Francis Weaver and Air. Baruch, both natives of 
Germany and both conscripted to serve in Bonaparte's army in 
Spain, from which service they deserted to this country, were 
employed at the glass house. Mr. Weaver, whose German 
name was Weber, as he once told me, was the grandfather of 
Mr. Frank L. Weaver of our water board. 

The hat manufactory of Bent & Bush, at one time one of 
the largest in the country, was carried on in Middlesex Village 


in two buildings. The silk plush hat, now worn, did not appear 
until about 1840. The beaver hat bodies were felted, dyed and 
prepared for finishing in a two-storied building which ^tood 
on the north side of Black Brook and westerly side of Baldwin 
Street, at a point where the brook crosses the street. In this 
shop were the felting kettles, around which a number of work- 
men were employed in making hat bodies by taking the light 
fur in flannel cloths, and by repeated dippings in the hot water, 
and rollings between the flannels, a felted three-cornered un- 
shaped hat was produced. I believe all this work is now done 
by a machine. Many times I have stood at a hat-board and 
watched Mr. Nolte or Mr. Gilmor make a hat body. I could 
just look over the edge of the felting board. 

The bowing room, as it was called, was an the second 
story. Here the hat fur was bowed by large bows with catgut 
strings into a light and flufTy mass. This was done in little 
alcoves, which prevented the blowing away of the light material. 

With my dog Prince, I used to dig out muskrats in the 
Howard intervale, and sell them to Mr. Bent for a shilling, 
16 and 2/3 cents apiece, to be used for hat fur. The fur was 
much esteemed for that purpose. The hat bodies, after being 
dyed, were washed of waste dye and other matter in the running 
brook. The unshaped hat was placed upon the end of a wooden 
pole and repeatedly dipped in the water until sufficiently cleansed. 
The sight of uncle John Hathaway at work dipping hats in the 
manner described is very fresh in my memory. 

Many of the journeymen hatters were pretty hard and 
regular drinkers, if John Swett, the firm's man of all work, 
may be believed. He said he used to take a basket full of pint 
bottles to the village store to be filled every morning; and that 
one morning he carried forty-one. 

The hat bodies, of which I have spoken, before they were 
sent to the finishing shop, were carefully gone over with a pair 



of sharp tweezers thereby removing any long hairs in the sur- 
face of the nap, and one of my earliest recollections is that of 
seeing Clarissa Howard, sitting at the open window of the 
south chamber of the old Willard Howard house, picking hats, 
as it was called. 

While these reminiscences have special reference to early 
life at Middlesex Village, I venture to speak of a childhood 
experience, a visit I made to the old town of Salem, in the 
company of my father in 1837. The special object of our visit 
was to see our dear old family friend and pastor, Dr. Packard, 
who was then residing there with his married daughter. We 
went by rail to Boston, riding in the English compartment cars 
of the Boston & Lowell road, then in use. From East Boston 
we rode to Salem over the Eastern road, which had just been 
completed as far as Salem. On the Eastern road we found and 
rode in new-fashioned cars, which we entered at the ends, in 
the present style ; but they were not more than twenty-five or 
thirty feet long, and of course without the present monitor 
roofs so important in ventilation. I remember the brakes were 
applied by standing on a foot brake like that at present applied 
to a coach or mountain wagon. 

The Salem tunnel was building at the time of our visit, 
I think the date given on the entrance arch as the year of its 
completion is 1837. My father, who had a natural taste for 
mechanics and engineering, was much interested in the work 
of building this tunnel, which, strange as it may seem to us 
today, was thought a very remarkable undertaking, and in com- 
pany with our host and myself gave it a careful inspection. 

I remember also that during our visit, the dear old doctor 
pointed out to us the localities connected with the celebrated 
White murder, which occurred April 6, 1830, the house of Mr. 
White, where the cruel act was perpetrated by Dick Crownin- 
shield, — the church steps under which he concealed the bludgeon 
with which he struck the fatal blow, and other places associated 


with this atrocious crime, one of the most thoroughly wicked, 
cold-blooded and awful tragedies to be found in the annals of 

We were also taken to the East India Museum, and shown 
the interesting exhibits there, and then we went on board two 
ships, Indiamen, lying at the wharf. I remember the doctor said 
the vessels were the property of Mr. Phillips. Possibly he may 
have referred to Hon. Stephen C. Phillips, member of Congress, 
father of the late Attorney General. 

I have been in Salem a great many times since, but I 
never go there without being reminded of my first visit, so many 
years ago. 

The extraordinary presidential election of 1840, with its 
unprecedented appeals to the passions and prejudices of voters, 
its outrageous personalities, and all its clap-trap instrumentalities 
to beguile support, adopted by the successful party, electing old 
Gen. Harrison, his imposing inauguration, his death the month 
following, and the funeral obsequies held in Lowell, are as fresh 
in my memory as the events of the last election of President 

They were held throughout the country on the 14th of 
May. The day in this vicinity opened cloudy and threatening, 
but it was not until the middle of the forenoon that rain began 
to fall. Although at the time only nine years old, I received 
permission from my parents to accompany an older boy, a 
neighbor lad, to the city to witness the display, or perhaps I 
should say, ceremonies. 

There was at that time in our neighboring town of West- 
ford, a military company called the Westford Rifle Company, 
and this company had for its place of company rendezvous for 
the day, to prepare for the march into the city, the old Middlesex 
Tavern, still standing. The members of the company came in 
vehicles to this place of meeting, and as they entered the tavern 
to prepare for the march, and, possibly, to refresh themselves 



at the tavern bar, they placed their arms against the side of the 
hotel under the front southeast window, where we boys gave 
them a very careful inspection. The company was called, as 
I have said, a rifle company, but, in truth, their arms were of a 
most miscellaneous character. There were a few ritles, but 
most of them were shot guns of all sizes, lengths of barrel, 
and shape of breech. The company wore a very good looking 
uniform, the cap being a heavy leather shako, topped by a 
fountain plume, of what color I cannot now remember. They 
were provided with a sort of" band, consisting of a snare drum, 
a bass drum, a fifer, and other instruments of which I remember 
a trombone, a key-bugle and a clarinet. 

The company was paraded on the green in front of the 
old hay scales, and when the order to march was given the band 
struck up a lively moving air, and the Westford Rifles, accom- 
panied by a crowd of men and boys, the latter, of whom I was 
one, closely flanking the band, a custom among boys which still 
obtains, I notice, at the present time, marched towards Lowell, 
entering town by way of the "new road," as it was called, now 
Middlesex Street. 

Middlesex Street west of School Street in 1841 had but 
few houses until it reached Black Brook. The Chelmsford line 
ran down hill by the present residence of Mr. Livingston, crossed 
just west of Mr. Christopher Baron's, and ended at the river a 
little southwest of the junction of Pawtucket Street. With 
the exception of the Spalding house and the large double brick- 
ended house, so long known as the Horn & Allen residence, 
there were no houses on the north side, and not a single house 
on the south side. South of Middlesex Street on the heights of 
Wilder Street, was a great sand hill. 

When we reached the city my companion and myself, 
desiring to secure a favorable place from which to see the pro- 
cession, left our bucolic military, and hurried down Middlesex 
Street to Central Street, the soldiers, as T remember, turning 


down Thorndike Street into Dutton Street, and so on, to take 
their place in the escort. We found the houses and shops 
clad in mourning decorations, flays at half-mast, while the 
damp, dismal atmosphere of the cloudy early spring day served 
to accentuate the general gloom. To add to the wretched state 
of thing's, the rain began to fall. We waited a long time in a 
crowd of people near Tower's Corner fur the procession to 
appear, which at last it did, the military escort, including our 
embattled farmers of Westford, being' in the advance. A band 
of music, I presume it was the old Lowell Brass Band, played a 
funeral march, and the soldiers marched with arms reversed. 
Aside from its being an accepted sign of mourning, it was the 
very best way to carry them under the circumstances — for the 
rain poured hard enough to fill the gun barrels had they been 
carried upright. 

I remember hearing it said that Tappan Wentworth was 
chief marshal, but it might have been Mr. John Smith for 
anything we cared. Our interest, boy fashion, centered in the 
trainers, as we called them, particularly in Col. Jefferson Ban- 
croft who commanded them, and who I then thought and still 
think was one of the finest looking men I ever saw in uniform. 
He wore a blue coat with silver epaulets and trimmings and a 
red sash. On his head was a chapeau-bras, and red and white 

My cousin, Captain James Mitchell Varnum, long a resi- 
dent of Manchester, N. H., and only recently deceased, com- 
manded the Mechanic Phalanx. In their grey uniforms, faced 
with black, brass trimmed leather shakos, and white fountain 
plumes, the old phalanx looked finer to me on that occasion 
than at any time since, and I was one of them in '58. 

Among the companies in the escort was one from Boston 
called the Highlanders, in Scotch uniform. Their picturesque 
dress was something new, and the officers carried swords which 
were basket-hilted. The interest which this company excited 



on this occasion led to the formation soon afterwards of the 
National Highlanders, long a local company of some of the 
finest young fellows in the city. 

Just about the time when the procession reached Central 
Street the rain fell in torrents. We of course had no umbrella, 
and were soon thoroughly wet. I do not remember much about 
the civil part of the pageant, and we had no special interest in 
the funeral oration which was expected to be delivered by Hon. 
Caleb Gushing on the land then vacant between John and Bridge 
Streets, now occupied by the Boott boarding houses. Mr. dish- 
ing did not appear and Dr. Blanchard filled his place. We visited 
the spot, but found that on account of the rain the exercises were 
to take place at the city hall. YVe wandered abput wet, hungry 
and miserable, trying to make the best of a pretty wretched day, 
and were finally found by my father in a crowd in front of the 
old city hall listening to the playing of a band. It was a 
dangerous experience for two small boys at that time of the year 
and I wonder we survived it. 

The Lowell Advertiser, then published by Abijah Watson, 
commenting upon the occasion in its issue of May 21st, used 
these words: "But in view of the whole matter, we are in- 
voluntarily led to the solemn enquiry ; did Providence intend 
the shower which broke in on our exercises as a rebuke upon us 
for this 'species of idolatry, or for the hollow heartedness with 
which the outward show of sorrow were attended? Or were 
the clouds of heaven made to weep in unison with the solemnities 
of the day." 

Certainly these were profound speculative inquiries which 
it would take the wisdom of Capt. Jack Bunsby properly to 

Another event which I distinctly recall, for it made a 
deep impression on my mind, is that of a trip I made when a 
very little boy in company with my mother on the steamboat 


"Herald" up the river to Nashua. The "Herald'' was placed on 
the river in 1835, and I am sure it was that year, or the one 
following, that we took the trip. 

I remember the day perfectly. It was a beautiful one in 
early summer, and we walked from our home down the river 
road, it was then called the old road, to distinguish it from 
Middlesex Street, which was then called the "new road," to the 
landing west of the Pawtucket canal. We went in company 
with a niece of my mother and her daughter, and when we 
reached two ash trees which stood on the bank of the river just 
opposite the present intersection of Pawtucket Street and Broad- 
way, — one is still standing, we were met by our relatives, who 
had walked up to meet us, and with them walked down to the 
steamboat landing, which was at a wharf just west of the most 
westerly ice house of the Daniel Gage Company. A small 
cottage house was near the landing and I believe it is still stand- 
ing, unless it has recently been removed. I remember we 
waited some minutes for the steamboat to come in, and how 
startled I was at the noise caused by the escaping steam. 

The ride up the river is very clear in my memory. We 
had seats on deck, and my mother pointed out to me various 
points as we rode along. I do not remember a single incident 
of our stay in Nashua, but I recall as though it were but 
yesterday that, on the trip back, I was taken below by some one, 
and shown the working of the crank worked by a walking beam, 
and noticed the strong smell of oil and steam which pervaded the 
engine room. It is the absolute truth that I never go on board 
a steamboat and smell the usual odors which prevail on them 
without recalling my first steamboat ride when five years old. I 
am reminded of the words of John Bunyan in his "Holy War," 
that "the soul hath five gates through which she holdeth parlance 
with the outer world. And correspondent with these outer gates 
from the sensible world in space, meseemeth, are as many inner 
gates into the inner invisible world of thought and time; which 



inner gates open simultaneously with the outer, by the same 
spring. But of all the mystic springs which unlock the wondrous 
inward world, none act with such swift, secret magic as those 
of the Gate of Odors." 

Mr. Cowley in his history says that the "Herald" was 
taken off the river in 1836 and sold. I perfectly remember that 
it was taken out of the water, placed on rollers, and taken down 
the river below Hunt's falls, where it was again placed in the 
river on its way to Newburyport. While it was being moved 
down Pawtucket Street I rode down the street with my father 
in an old-fashioned chaise, and when we passed it, we were 
obliged to throw back the chaise hood to enable the carriage to 
pass under the guard of the boat. 

The public lecture, that fine educational institution, which 
reached full bloom in the late '50s, in which Bayard Taylor, 
Beecher, Holmes, Emerson, Curtis, Theo. Parker, Phillips, 
Chapin, and many others found fame and money and their 
audiences instruction and delight, had hardly taken root in the 
early '40s. We had lectures now and then in the winter months. 

I remember when a lad, attending two lectures at North 
Chelmsford. One was given by Dr. Elisha Huntington, at the 
time Mayor of Lowell, and his subject was an account of his 
experiences in the early settlement of Ohio. I remember it Was 
full of anecdote and graphic description and I enjoyed it very 
much. The other lecture was by a young Lowell lawyer, just 
then beginning to be known in his profession, named Benjamin 
F. Butler. His subject was "Aaron Burr." I was too young 
to be much interested in it. I once reminded the General of this 
early effort, and he said he remembered the lecture, but his 
opinions had undergone much change since he prepared it. 

I also remember attending a lecture in the hall of the old 
tavern on "Electricity" during which experiments were made 
with an electrical stool. B. E. Eoster, of pig raising memory. 


who lived on Pine Street, was placed on the stool, and his hair 
stood up on his head like the quills of a porcupine. 

1 can easily recall the excitement in the literary and read- 
ing world when Charles Dickins began his extraordinary career. 
How we laughed over the rich scenes of the Pickwick Papers, 
the broad humor of which immortal work was such a surprise 
and delight to the English reading world. 1 remember reading 
it aloud to my father when it first appeared and he nearly went 
into convulsions of laughter over it. It was too much for him 
and I had to close the book. 

Then followed Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby and 
the Old Curiosity Shop. I remember the world's first tears over 
Little Nell, and they have been falling ever since. 

Dickens' visit to this country and to Lowell in 1842 is 
very fresh in my memory. I did not see him, — I was then a lad 
of ten, but T remember the interest his presence occasioned. 

It may be remarked that Dickens began the writing of the 
Pickwick Papers in 1835 but did not complete the work until 1837. 

With the exception of the development of the inland 
steam navigation by Fulton and his coadjutors, almost all the 
wonderful discoveries, inventions, and change-working improve- 
ments of the 19th century were produced, at least so far as 
this country was concerned, since the '30s, and a large majority 
of these since 1840, and within the memory of men still living. 

I will speak of some of these contributions which have 
done so much for man's development, and for his comfort and 
enjoyment, by telling what w T e did not have when I was a boy, 
and anterior to 1841. I shall probably omit many things, if I do 
so, please remind me. 

We did not have telegraphs, telephones, phonographs 
(1839), daguerreotypes (1841), photographs, typewriters, sew- 
ing machines, steel pens, electric lights, kerosene oil, horse cars 



for street travel or the perfected trolley car, ocean steamers — 
(the first Cunarder crossed in 1841), iron or steel ships for 
merchant service, or for naval purposes, and no armored war 
vessels, no Pullman sleepers or drawing room cars, no smoke- 
less powder, no rifled cannon, or breech loading ordinance or fire- 
arms, or Colt's revolvers, no power printing presses, or pianolas, 
no labor unions and of course no strikes, no linotypes, no 
anaesthetics, no anti-toxin, no Roentgen or Violet ray, no electric 
motors, bicycles, auto bicycles, no auto cars or boats, wireless 
telegraphy, opera bouffe, dime magazines, penny newspapers or 
oleomargerine, no Sunday newspapers, no postage stamps, 
no envelopes. We had Melvin's beer but no Moxie. No turbine 
water wheels, gas or naphtha engines, turbine engines, compound, 
triple or quadruple expansion steam engines, no subterranean or 
subaqueous tunnels, no sky-scrapers, no power hay cutters or 
tedders or grain reapers or threshers, no stereopticons, steam 
fire-engines, fire alarm telegraphs, golf or women's clubs, elliptic 
carriage springs or ship propellers. We had balloons but no flying 
machines, no cash-carriers or registers, no greenbacks, no 
Christian Science, no graft, no electrocution for capital crimes, no 
probation system for criminal offenders, no elective system in our 
colleges, and consequently it was not in those days possible for 
the student to receive the degree of A. B. on a course of English 
Literature, 190 pounds in weight, and the ability to slug In a 
game of foot-ball. And it may be added that the parents of those 
days were more interested in knowing that their sons left college 
with a full head or quarter head, and not as now, whether they 
graduate a full-back or quarter-back. But notwithstanding we 
had none of these things, and the list is not complete by any 
means, we thought we were getting along pretty well. 

Our foreign population in the '30s was comparatively 
small, and confined to English, Scotch, Irish, and German. The 
cosmopolitan character of this city is seen in the fact that the 
following additional nationalities are with us today : French 


Canadians, Continental French, Belgians, Swedes, Norwegians, 
Danes, Italians, Portuguese, Austrians, Armenians, Finns, Turks, 
Syrians, Greeks, Poles, Russians, Lithuanians, Hebrews, 
Arabians, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Phillipinos. All these 
nationalities, in large or small numbers, are with us today and 
the numbers of some of them are increasing with the arrival of 
every transatlantic steamship. 

Let me pause here to say that to have been permitted to 
live through more than seven decades of this world's history so 
prolific in practical discoveries which have contributed so 
largely to human comfort, improvement and happiness, is a 
privilege for which men and women of my age should feel, and 
do feel, devoutly grateful. 

Having lived through this extraordinary period of human 
history, and having shared in the benefits and advantages which 
the period has afforded us, we are prepared to believe and to 
prophecy that the coming century will be filled with discoveries 
grander even than that which has passed. 

Before I close this paper permit me to refer to some humbler 
and homelier matters. 

It perhaps will be a matter of surprise to some of the 
younger of my hearers that when I was a child, before 1840, the 
greater part of the cooking of the family was done before an 
open fire. I can easily recall the time when my mother did 
nearly all her family cooking in this manner, and it was not 
until 1838 that cooking stoves can be said to have been common 
in New England kitchens. The installation of a cooking stove 
was an event in family history which I can distinctly remember. 
It was the Woolson's patent, and T can see it now standing on 
its scroll ornamented bowed legs. 

Baking was done either in a Dutch oven, in a tin baking- 
oven in front of the fire, or in the large brick oven, which was 
placed alongside the fireplace. This brick oven had a line con- 
necting it with the throat oi the chimnev, and 'was heated b\ 



building in it a brisk wood fire which bringing it to a proper 
temperature was carefully removed, and the oven was ready for 
use. Deans and pastry, puddings and like dishes, were admirably 
cooked in these old brick ovens. The other operations of cook- 
ing were done before the open fire, such as broiling, frying, 
roasting, while boiling of meats and vegetables or of water was 
done in kettles suspended from hooks attached to a crane which 
swung over the fire. 

Of course the fuel was wood, coal not coming into general 
use until about the latter part of the '40s. 

The first matches I can remember were ignited by draw- 
ing them through a piece of sand paper which accompanied the 

We had fire frames and Franklin stoves, but the air-tight 
stove did not come into use until about 1840. The first one 
which I remember stood in our parlor, and was the invention 
of Rev. S. W. Hanks, pastor of the John Street Church. The 
wood was placed perpendicularly into a cast iron cylinder open- 
ing at the top, and which was surrounded by a sheet-iron casing 
with a hot air space between. It was a poor affair, and was 
soon superceded by better patterns. The wood was not easily 
ignited, and as the cover had to be removed to allow feeding 
fresh fuel, it was impossible to remove it when the fire was 
burning without a holder. I have burned my fingers many times 
in removing the cover of Hanks' air-tight stove. 

Artificial light was produced by the burning of whale oil 
in glass lamps, portable and stationary, the latter called astral 
or solar. These lamps were nasty and evil smelling, and gave 
a steady but poor light. They were constantly drawing up more 
oil than they burned, and were, on that account, disagreeable to 
handle. Burning fluid, as it was called, a dangerously explosive 
compound, took the place for some time of whale oil, and 
immediately preceded the use of mineral or what was called 
kerosene oil. Tallow candles were also used to soihe extent. 


The good old family tailoress must not be forgotten, 

dear old soul. Tn the autumn she went from family to family, 
cutting and making winter clothing fur the male members of 
the family. How well I recall that eventful week in the year, 
the cutting, the sewing, the fitting, the pressing, the hot goose 
and beeswax! In the tailoring line we generally had a 
week or ten days of good plump Miss Shedd of Chelmsford, 
who gave us all the news over at the Centre, or Miss Sarah 
Parker, who lived on Pine Street, a shy, gentle, kindly natured. 
single lady. 

I close this rambling paper of reminiscences fully aware 
that many of them are perhaps of a trifling and unimportant 
character, and possibly of little use in affording those side- 
lights of history sometimes found in autobiography, which are to 
some extent valuable as being original, suggestive, or con- 
firmatory. I have sought to combine some local history with 
personal childhood experiences, and if I have not succeeded in 
being instructive, it may be I have not wholly failed in awaken- 
ing an interest in early times on the part of those who have kindly 
given me their attention. I have not presented these sketches 
with the idea that my own youth is of any more importance 
than that of any one else, — you know me too well for that, 
1 trust, but because I believe it is the duty of every man or 
woman to do this very thing. I have, indeed, such an interest 
in this sort of writing, that I venture to express the hope that 
others, more competent than myself, will feel stimulated to take 
other neighborhoods in our vicinity, and, if it is not too presum- 
ing in me to say so, in a generally similar and I hope more 
entertaining manner, talk about their youthful days. If I have 
at times allowed myself to fall into any levity, if that is the word, 
unbecoming my age or my theme, you will please remember that 
I have all my life sympathized with the laughing demand of 
Gratiano in the Merchant of Venice, — 

"Why should a man whose blood is warn 1 ! within, 
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?" 

List of Papers read before the Society in 1907. 

"The Early Settlements at Jamestown." Greenleaf C. 
Brock. Read May 8, 1907. 

"The Life and Public Services of Hon. John Hay." Solon 
W. Stevens, Esq. Read May 8, 1907. 

"Early Special Legislation relating to Lowell and Vicin- 
ity." Hon. Samuel P. Hadley. Read October 9, 1907. 

"Centennial Anniversary of John Greenleaf Whittier." 
Addresses of Alden P. White and others. December 11, 1907. 

Annual Report of the Executive Committee tor 1907-1908. 
Prepared and Read by Solon W. Stevens, President, 
February 12, 1908. 

The time has arrived when it becomes necessary according 
to the by-laws for the Executive Committee to present by the 
President of the Society "a detailed report of the affairs and 
condition of the Society since the last annual meeting." The 
details relative to the financial condition of the Society, as well 
as the details of its properties and donations, are not included in 
this report. These matters are left to the jurisdiction of the 
Treasurer and the Librarian respectively. 

The Society has recently published in pamphlet form, 
Part I of Volume I of the "Contributions" of the Society, 
copies of which as far as possible have been distributed among 
the members of the organization. It is an exceedingly interest- 
ing publication because of the many items of local and historical 
information which have been thus made accessible by the ability 
and the research of the writers on the different subjects therein 

It has been often said, and the remark will with propriety 
bear frequent repetition, that no reliable and complete history 
of Lowell will ever be written without a patient and thorough 
mastery of the different data afforded in the several volumes of 
the "Contributions" of the Lowell Historical Society. This 
statement in its comprehensive meaning will sometime be appreci- 
ated more highly than it is at present. 

On the evening of May 8, 1907, Mr. Greenleaf C. Brock 
read an interesting and instructive paper on the "Early Settle- 
ments at Jamestown, Williamsburgh, and Yorktown," together 
with personal reminiscences of the Peninsular Campaign in the 
late Civil War. This paper gave evidence of wide reading and 
thorough preparation relative to the subjects treated, while the 
fact that the writer was a soldier in the Union Army in the 
"Peninsular Campaign," and therefore an eye-witness and a 



participant in the scenes described, gave a peculiar interest to 
the "reminiscences" so vividly portrayed. 

At this meeting also, an address was delivered by the 
President of the Society, Mr. Solon \V. Stevens, on "The life 
and public services of the Hon. John Hay, late Secretary of 
State," who was a college classmate and life-long friend of the 
speaker. Although the subjects thus presented for consideration 
of this meeting had no relation to the history of Lowell or its 
adjacent towns, they were intimately connected with a critical 
period in American history, and on this account, together with 
a recognition of the personal relation between subject and 
speaker in both instances, were deemed worthy of grateful 

The Centennial of the Birth of John Greenleaf Whittier 
was observed by the Lowell Historical Society at its stated 
meeting, Wednesday evening, December II, 1907, in Memorial 
Hall, in accordance with the following programme. 

Introductory Address by the President, Solon W. Stevens, Esq. 
Hymn — Written by Whittier, sung by High Street Church Choir 
Address — Hon. Alden P. White, of Salem 
Reading of selections from Whittier's Poems 
Hymn — High Street Church Choir 

Address by Judge Charles Cowley, "Whittier in Lowell" 
Reading of Lucy Larcom's tribute to Whittier, written in 1877. 
Hymn — High Street Church Choir 

The selections from Whittier's poems were read by two 
High School pupils, the Misses Roper and Phillips, and the Hon. 
Samuel P. Hadley read Lucy Larcom's tribute to Whittier. 

John Greenleaf Whittier in 1844 became for a short time 
a resident of Lowell as the editor and publisher of the "Middlesex 


Standard," of which paper the only known file in existence 
is in the library of the Lowell Historical Society. It contains 
his articles entitled "A Stranger in Lowell." The meeting" was 
very satisfactory and peculiarly interesting, and a large and 
attentive audience was present. 

As far as can be ascertained there have been nine deaths 
in this organization since its last annual meeting. 

Dr. Samuel Lawrence, for many years a practitioner of 
dentistry, died suddenly on the 16th of February, 1907, in a 
grocery store on Bridge Street, Centralville, from heart disease. 
He was born in Peterboro, N. H., January 29, 1823. He had 
been a resident of Lowell for the greater portion of his life. 
He was eighty-four years of age at the time of his decease. He 
was a democrat and had served in the Common Council of 
Lowell. He was also for many years a member of the Middle- 
sex North Agricultural Society. He had the reputation not 
only of being a skillful dentist, but he was universally regarded 
as a man of sterling honesty and integrity of character. 

It is said that during the civil war he visited the camp of 
the 33rd Massachusetts regiment, and brought many letters and 
delicacies for the soldiers from their friends at home. On his 
return he was entrusted with $33,000, contributed in small 
amounts by members of different companies to be sent from 
Washington in letters to relatives in various sections of the 
country. So faithfully did he discharge this trust that every 
cent of the money reached the homes of the soldiers' friends in 
safety. As an acknowledgment of his fidelity he was elected 
on honorary member of the 33rd Massachusetts regiment. 

Miss Abby Frances Davis died at a private hospital in 
Boston on February 26, 1907, at the age of fifty-seven years. 
Her home was at No. 80 Howard Street in this city. She was 
an estimable woman, and particularly accomplished in the art 
of painting. Among her friends she is lovingly remembered 
for her gentle ways. 



Mr. William H. I. Hayes died June 30, 1907, at his home 
790 Merrimack Street at the age of fifty-nine years. lie was 
born in Boston on the 21st of June, 1848. By enlistment when 
only thirteen years old, and by subsequent re-enlistments he was 
a soldier in the Union service throughout the whole period of 
the Civil war. 

On account of being one of the very youngest soldiers 
who ever carried a gun, his comrades gave him the nickname, 
"Old Hundred." He was well known as a successful manu- 
facturer and dealer of cigars. He was in his twelfth year as 
a representative at the State House when he died. He was an 
active and influential member of the Legislature, and noted for 
his wit, his positive opinions and his sharp repartee. A large 
delegation from the Legislature was present at' his funeral. 
He was widely known, he had hosts of friends, and will be 
greatly missed. 

Miss Sophia P. Wetherbee died at her home, 29 Kirk 
Street on the morning of June 10, 1907, at the age of eighty- 
one years. She was the daughter of the late Deacon Asa 
Wetherbee and was for many years a teacher in the Bartlett 
school. She was a very intelligent lady, an enthusiastic worker 
in the Kirk Street Congregational Church, and the possessor 
of much valuable information relative to the early history of 
Lowell, and she was never weary of repeating for others 
anecdotes and stories of people and things that were character- 
istic of our city many years ago. 

Mr. Jacob Bagley Currier died on the 8th of November, 
1907, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was one of our 
oldest citizens and was widely known in the business life of our 
city. He was born in Amesbury October 3, 1829, and came to 
Lowell in 1848. For several years he was engaged in model 
and pattern making, and there are in the patent office at Wash- 
ington, D. C, several models which are the work of his hand. 

ANNUAL REPORT, I907-I908 291 

One of the most widely known inventions of Air. Currier 
was the Currier system of counting Australian ballots, a system 
still in vogue with excellent and accurate results. 

He was best known however, as an undertaker, in which 
line of business he remained until the day of his death. Not- 
withstanding the serious business which he conducted so suc- 
cessfully, he possessed in a large degree a spirit of fun, and in 
conversation was very fond of telling some laughable story, 
or propounding some conundrum which often caused his listener 
to see the ludicrous side of many subjects ordinarily deemed 
commonplace and sad. He followed his ancestry back to the 
remotest periods and was never weary of studying the problems 
of genealogy. He was a familiar figure on the streets of our 
city, and had been a sympathetic servant in many of our homes 
at times when the inmates sat in tears, and he will be missed 
by many people as a personal friend. 

Mr. William H. Ward was instantly killed by the falling 
of a derrick boom at Groton on November 28, 1907. He was 
born in Newton, October 14, 1829. He was known throughout 
New England as a contractor and as one of the best bridge- 
builders in the eastern part of the country. He was a member 
of the Eliot Congregational Church, and a Union veteran. Tie 
was a man of strong intellectual tastes, was for several years a 
teacher in the public schools of the state, and today his memory 
is honored as that of "one who stands as a type of old New 
England, whose quality of manhood made New England famous, 
and has shed a healthful influence over all America." 

Miss Melinda Caroline Shaw died of pneumonia at her 
home in Westford, January 5, 1908, at the age of ninety-three 
years. She was born in Farmington Falls, Maine, April 12, 
1815, and was the seventh of tw r elve children of John P. and 
Lucy G. (Flint) Shaw. Her father was bom in Brentwood, 
N. IT., and served in the Revolutionary war, and settled in 



Farmington in 1803, where he put into operation the first 
two carding" machines introduced into that town. Her mother 
was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Flint, who was a cousin of 
Daniel Webster, and a surgeon in the Revolutionary army. 
After graduating from the Bloomfield Academy in Maine, she 
was appointed a teacher in the Boys' Reformatory in Maine and 
held that position for twenty-five years, and although she had 
many boys in her charge, she maintained the best of discipline 
for she governed her pupils by love. 

Miss Shaw was a Woman of fine character and rare 
intellect and blessed with perfect health, and she preserved 
her delicate beauty and all her faculties to the end of her long 
life. She was a sister of Mrs. Charlotte A. Stone, wife of the 
late Zina E. Stone, and well known to many of the- older people 
of this city. She and another sister, Mrs. Mary A. Davis, 
recently deceased, had lived together for many years in West- 
ford. Her funeral was attended by many friends, and she was 
buried in the Fair View cemetery in that town. 

Mr. Person Noyes, one of our oldest citizens, died Janu- 
ary 8, 1908, at the home of his brother in Pike, N. PL, at 
the age of a little more than eighty years. Pie was born in 
Haverhill, N. H., and came to Powell in 1846, and secured 
employment in what was then known as the Suffolk Mills. 
He afterwards became identified with the furniture business, and 
also became interested in many patents. 

He was for more than forty years a faithful member of 
the First Baptist Church in this city. He was an enterprising 
and successful business man in his prime, and personally was 
genial and companionable, and enjoyed the esteem of many 

Charles Cowley, Esq., died at his home on the 6th of 
February, 1908, at the age of seventy-six years. 

ANNUAL REPORT, I907-I908 293 

He was born in Eastington, Gloucester-hire, England, 
January 9, 1832, and came to Massachusetts with his family in 
his youth and settled in Lowell. lie was educated in the public 
schools of this city. In 1854 he entered the office of Josiah G. 
Abbott, Esq., and Samuel A. Jirown, Esq., as a student of law 
and was admitted to the bar in 1856. lie has been prominently 
identified with many interests appertaining to the welfare of the 
city, and was the author of the first History of Lowell which 
was ever published, beside many occasional addresses. 

In June of 1864 ne was transferred from his position as 
paymaster on board the monitor Lehigh, and attached to the .staff 
of Admiral Dahlgren on the flagship Philadelphia, with whom 
he remained until the close of the war as general law officer of 
the South Atlantic blockading squadron. Mr. Cowley was in 
many respects a very remarkable man. He was a lawyer, a 
judge advocate in the naval service, a Union veteran, an author, 
and a man of scholarly tastes and instincts. lie had a wonderful 
memory. He was a man of strong mental capacity, very 
marked in his likes and dislikes, inflexible in his opinions, 
somewhat prone to controversy, appreciative of kindness mani- 
fested, courteous, and by his family and those who were 
privileged to know him intimately, highly loved and esteemed. 

He was a prominent member of this Society, and an ardent 
well-wisher for its prosperity. We shall miss him at our meet- 
ings in the future. He had his peculiarities, and who of us is 
exempt, but he was a man of ideas, wide reading, and so far 
as the early history of Lowell is concerned, he probably possessed 
more information than anyone at present living. In the presence 
of relatives, comrades, friends and representatives of the Lowell 
Historical Society, while the bitter north winds were blowing 
and with the snows of winter for a covering, he was laid at 
rest in his dreamless bed. 



Thus one by one as the years go by, familiar faces drop 
from sight forever. Let there be words of kindness for the 
dead, and words of hope for the living ! There is work to be 
done and the workers must be willing to do their best. And 
when summoned hence let each be found at the post of duty 
with armor buckled on ! 

Respectfully submitted. 

Solon W. Stevens, 


Lowell, February 12, 1908. 

The Snow-Shoe Scouts. By George Waldo Browne. Head 
February 12, 1908. 

It is my purpose this evening to speak briefly of that little 
band of men whose names have become enrolled on the historic 
pages of early New England as "The Snow-Shoe Scouts ;" the 
men who were foremost among the pioneers in breaking the 
wilderness of the Merrimack Valley; the men whose log cabins 
were the homes of the first actual settlers north of this city ; the 
men whose clearings were the windows in the primeval forest 
to first let in the sunlight of these northern skies upon this 
paradise of the red men ; the men whose rough-walled meeting 
houses, reared on the pine-templed hills, were the first to declare 
to the coming generations that their ancestors were a God-fear- 
ing people. 

Sitting here in the enjoyment of the pleasures and privi- 
leges of a civilized life, coming from the homes of a Christian 
community, and protected by the laws of a free government, it 
is not easy to comprehend that within the span of two lives 
that scene was the heart of an unpeopled wildwood ; where the 
lofty pine lifted high its sombre plumes in defiance of the woods- 
man's axe ; where the sedgy vine bound in its relentless folds 
the oaken freeman of the forest ; where the Merrimack ran its 
race unvexed from mountain to the sea ; where by day the 
hungry bear crept forth from its lonely lair, and by night the 
stealthy panther prowled upon the footsteps of its prey ; where, 
from sun to sun, the timid deer followed its flight, unfearing the 
shadow of a human being; when and where, unchallenged by 
the rumble of factory wheels or the thunder of street traffic, 
the silence of the solitude was broken only by the myriad voices 
of nature — the murmur of running waters, the soughing of the 
winds, the trill of the forest songster, the plaint of a belated 
fox, the laughter of the loon — blending in harmonious concert, 
the softer notes drowned at intervals by the harsh tremolo of 
some wandering wolf. 



If two hundred years ago only an occasional red man, 
like a shadow of departed greatness, lingered around these old 
familiar scenes, the Merrimack valley had been in truth the 
great battle ground of the aboriginal races. Here, the natural 
heir of Nature's realm, the lordly Penacook, had threaded the 
dim aisles of its wild arcades, his snowy canoe had vied with 
the foam upon its broken waters, his war-cry had awakened the 
fastnesses of its far-reaching forests, his council fires starred the 
Plutonian night of the barbaric wilderness long ere the white 
sails of Columbus' caravels had dotted the distant main ; long ere 
the ravens of the Norsemen had flaunted their dark wings en 
the sedgy shores of Old Yineland ; ay, long ere the most learned 
cosmographer of the Old World had dreamed of a land and 
a people beyond the untraversed seas. Here, was sounded 
up and down the country from the mysterious West, the wild 
alarum of battle from their ancient and deadly enemies, the 
Romans of America, the Mohawks. Here, from the Brave 
Lands of the Penacook to the murmuring waters of Pawtucket, 
from the pulseless breast of Uncannoonuc to the crag-castles of 
Old Pawtuckaway, the invincible Abenakis bore aloft the tocsin 
of war. Here wound the war-trails of nations that fought, bled, 
and perished in the same cause which has wrung tears from the 
old earth since it was young. This was in truth the Thessaly 
of Olden New England. 

Out from the misty background of Tradition rise the 
stalwart figures of that heroic period. Among them the stately 
Kenewa appears mustering his dusky legion, to lead it forth to 
anticipated conquest only to be swallowed up by the hungry 
wilderness as was Varus and his army in the old Germanic 
forest. Then the valiant Winnemet rallied around him upon 
the Brave Lands his gallant followers, in his desperate endeavor 
to stem the tide of that disastrous Waterloo, falling at last 
encircled by the fragments of his "old guards" of the Penacooks. 


Now the magnanimous Passaconnaway, reading in the signs 
of the times, the destiny in store for his people, taught them 
it was better to condone the wrongs done by a stronger race 
than to combat a hopeless fate, leaving them with his parting 
words impressed upon their minds, while he launched his frail 
boat upon the placid waters of Massabesic, to the red men "the 
eyes of the sky," to vanish from sight and story. What a 
picturesque sight was presented by the tall, erect figure of the 
aged sachem standing upright in the center of his fragile craft 
while it was slowly wafted by the rippling water from the pfne- 
fronded shore, away from the landscape which swiftly dis- 
appeared before the incoming of the white man, but whose 
going out was even slower than the disappearance of the race 
of which this single chieftain was a noble representative ! Here, 
the curtain fallen on the closing scene of pagan warfare ; 
Wannalancet, the last of the Penacook great sachems, called 
about him his few scattered followers to lead them to that 
rendezvous under French protection upon the St. Francis, to 
return himself a few years later that his ashes might mingle 
with the dust of his fathers. Here, sacrificing every hope and 
ambition for his people, brave Merruwacomet, better known as 
Joe English, fought and fell in the interest of an alien people, 
an unhonored hero. Here, too, in the gloaming of that long 
day came the lonely Christo to consecrate with the tears of a 
warrior the graves of his sires, the ashes of his race. No mean 
knights of chivalry these, every hero of them worthy to stand 
shoulder to shoulder with the best of the Old World champions. 
Of their rights or wrongs I have little to say at this time, 
but am free to confess that I have no patience with those who 
declare they were hopeless savages, beyond the light of civiliza- 
tion. I would remind that same judge that it was. not so many 
generations ago that his own ancestors lurked sullenly in caverns 
of the earth and came forth clad in the skins of wild beasts. 



It is related by one of the pioneers that while abroad one 
night upon the river-bank, he discovered an Indian approaching 
upon his hands and knees. A friendly motion of the dusky scout- 
hand caused the white man to await his approach. Then with 
his ringers upon his lips to enjoin silence, he whispered: "Me 
watch to see the deer kneel." 

Then it occurred to the white man that it was Christmas, 
and he realized that in the simplicity of his belief the red man was 
expecting at that sacred hour to see the deer come forth from 
the forest to fall upon their knees in silent adoration of the Great 
Spirit. Truly that race cannot be lost to Omnipotent justice 
which, in its honesty of faith, looks through Nature's eves up 
to God. 

The condition between the red man and ' his white com- 
petitor reminds us of the story of the "talking turkey." A white 
man and an Indian, hunting together, had agreed to divide 
equally the spoils of their hunt which resulted simply in their 
getting a good fat turkey and a worthless crow. In this dilemma 
the white man proposed that the divide even by saying: 

"I'll take the turkey, and you can take the crow, or you 
can take the crow and I will take the turkey." 

"Ugh !" exclaimed the red man, "you no talk turkey to 
Indian at all." 

The situation of the entire colonists in America at that 
particular period was exceedingly critical. The English held 
only a chain of settlements along the New England coasts here 
and there fringing the banks of one of its many rivers ; the 
Dutch, a cluster of hamlets in New Netherlands, now New York ; 
and the English another colony at Jamestown, Virginia. The 
French meanwhile had obtained possession, in a large sense 
speculative, of the entire interior stretching from Acadie on the 
east, up the valley of the St. Lawrence past Tadousac, the 
trading station at the mouth of the Saguenay, Quebec upon its 
rock-throne, Montreal, on the site of the ancient Huron capital, 


the SNOW shoe scouts 299 

the rich country about the Great Lakes, and the fertile basins 
running down to the Gulf of Mexico. This crescent-shaped 

line of settlements, bounded on the north by the unexplored 
wilderness, was maintained by a chain of fortresses, guarded 
by a paid soldiery, encouraged by the prayers of zealous 
missionaries, and supported by rich traders who desired to be- 
come yet richer. In all this vast region there were only two 
homes within sight and sound of the rock of Quebec. 

The- English held their limited domain by actual home- 
building, clearing the wilderness and cultivating the soil wherever 
they dared to venture, and the natural resources lured them 
hence. They stubbornly defended their homes to their utmost. 
The first was a military power, the latter a civil body ; the one 
constantly held aloft the sword, accompanied by 1 the well- 
thumbed prayer-book, the other wielded the axe, resorting to 
the firearm when driven to do so, always laying this aside as 
soon as the war-cry died down. 

It can be readily understood that the Indians, situated in 
the broad belt of debatable country between these rival powers 
almost constantly at each others' throats, were like grains of 
corn between two mill wheels, sure to be crushed by one or the 
other. None realized this fact better than they in their ignorance 
and weakness, and this. very fact served to make them suspicious 
and revengeful. It was impossible for them to remain neutral, 
and it was natural that they should be won over by the French 
through their zealous priests and the dazzling glamor of their 
armed forces. To the simple warrior of the wilderness the 
soldiers of New France were dashing, courageous gallants, the 
flashing of whose rapiers was the lightning and the roar of 
whose firearms was the thunder of battle. When they saw 
these gaily-bedecked sons of war, whom they knew to be their 
superiors, lie down beside them in the wallow, and adopt with 
apparent cheerfulness their methods of living, they were easily 
induced to become their allies. In the words of 1 Charlevoix : 



"The savages did not become Frenchmen ; the Frenchmen be- 
came savages." But with all their shrewdness the French did 
not adopt the red man's tactics of warfare. 

On the other hand, while the English scorned affiliation 
with the Indians, they did not hesitate to imitate them in their 
systems of border strife. In this respect they gained a decided 
advantage over the French from the days of Captain Tyng and 
his "snow-shoe scouts" to the close of the cruel drama under 
Rogers and his Rangers. Compared with the cunning artifices 
and hand-to-hand encounters of the veterans of those war-trails, 
the personal prowess and valor of the mailed warriors of the 
age of chivalry in European struggles become commonplace 
combats. It is true the pomp of bannered columns, the eclat of 
heraldry, the shimmer of burnished armor were wanting, but 
in their place the stern, determined countenances of sun-browned 
and weather-beaten men ; instead of the clangor of clumsy arms 
rang the sharp twang of the bow, and the track of the hurtling 
dart was sped by the feathered arrow ; instead of the thunder 
of hoofs was the stillness of foot-soldiers shod with silence. 

Where, in the one case, was a Saviour's grave to rescue 
from the infidels, on the other were human lives — mothers, 
daughters, sons and sweethearts, over whose fates hung a 
mystery and horror that passed the comprehension of man. 
Everywhere the frontier had been ravaged by an enemy that 
neither compassed the range of suffering nor knew the redeem- 
ing grace of compassion. Not alone were young men fired with 
the zeal of defense and rescue in those unwritten crusades, but 
old men became knight-er rants on those long, tedious, perilous 
marches through the wilderness of debatable country lying be- 
tween the blockhouses of the English and the strongholds of 
the French — a pathless belt of forest three hundred miles in 
width. These arduous marches had to be performed, not upon 
the backs of eager war-horses, but upon foot, the shadowy 


soldiery threading in silence lonely ravines, scaling broken foot- 
hills, crawing over morasses, creeping under matted thickets 
reeking" with the sweat of centuries, the only relief an occasional 
canoe voyage across some sheet of water. .More frequently 
than in summer these journeys were made in the dead of winter, 
when the wilderness was snow-clogged, and the water-ways 
locked with the key of Nature. Resorting to the use of snow- 
shoes, the intrepid scouts wound their weary way over huge 
snow-banks, at times wading knee-deep in some turgid stream 
whose silvery covering had proved too thin to bear their weight; 
anon dragging their loads over the icy surface of an inland sheet 
of water; at nightfall stopping to dig a hole in the snow for the 
site of their camping-place, fearing to build a fire to thaw their 
benumbed limbs lest some argus-eyed enemy, who was to be 
expected at all times lurking in ambush, should spring upon 
them ; appeasing their hunger with bits of dried meat ; lying 
down on a layer of fir-boughs for their couch, and a bedraggled 
blanket or frozen skin for a covering, — even in sleep the 
mittened hand holding upon the stock of the trusty firearm, 
and the trained ear alert to catch the first intimation of danger. 
Wet, tired, stiffened by the day's march, after a night's unrest, 
making a breakfast without a fire, these "snow-shoe scouts" 
were up and moving again though the winter wind cut 
like a two-edged sword, and the sleet pelted like shotted lead. 
And ever the uncertainty of their quest, should they succeed 
in reaching the end of their pathless trail, only an inkling of 
whose sufferings can be conveyed by the tongue. 

The treaty of Ryswick, September 20, 1697, closed 
Frontenac's long series of aggressive campaigns on the part of 
New France against New England, and a period of com- 
parative peace between the settlers of these provinces succeeded. 
The pride and the power of the Five Nations, always arrayed 
against the French since the days of Champlain, had been 
broken and humbled; their numerous acres ,of maize been 



destroyed with ruthless hands, their great apple orchards ruined, 
their large tracts of ripening - melons devastated, and their 
towns ravaged and given over to the torch of the despoiler. 
The Abenakis, the constant allies of the French, were for the 
time glutted of their vengeance and their appetite for blood 

But the respite was not overlong. Soon the war-torch 
was rekindled and the war-whoops of the Eastern Amerinds 
again awoke the solitude of northern New England. This was 
the coming of the twilight to the darkest night in the history of 
New England warfare. England and France were again drawn 
into an armed contest in that century and more of conflict 
which marks that era of European history. This time Spain 
was a part of the strife, largely the bone of contention, and 
European historians have styled this ''The War of the Spanish 
Succession." In America it was called "Queen Anne's War," 
as that queen was the ruler of Great Britain, and, as usual, the 
trouble in the old world was largely fought out in the new, and 
its terrible warfare lasted for nearly ten "years. 

Hitherto the red men had carried on their predatory 
struggles mainly through their own leadership and arms. Now 
they were not only armed but trained and advised by the 
masters of French military tactics unceasingly to strike their 
subtle yet terrific blows. Thus all the cruel cunning of the wild 
savage was united to the merciless sagacity and ingenuity of 
the then foremost military power in the world. Urged on by 
this crafty ally, keeping constantly before his eyes the well- 
thumbed prayer-book, while he held over his head the sword, 
the Amerinds, in scouting parties numbering from half a dozen 
to a score or more, raided every section of the wide belt of 
wilderness lying between the more thickly settled quarters of 
the English on the south and the French fortresses on the north. 
The pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire were. consequently 
the greatest sufferers. According to the best information we 


have, and which is all too meagre, more than two hundred 
men, women and children were killed or taken into a captivity 
worse to contemplate than even death at the hands of a barbaric 
foe. The torch was applied to cabin after cabin home, until 
it began to look as if the English settlers were doomed. By 
the swiftness and frequency of their attacks upon the scattered 
homes of the pioneers it seemed as if the dusky enemies were 
omnipresent hanging ''like lightning upon the Qdgt of a cloud," 
about those lonely cabins fringing the wilderness. 

In their hapless plight the people turned to the govern- 
ment for assistance. The French were paying a bounty for 
scalps of the English, and the courts of Massachusetts, in order 
to encourage the pioneers of their domains, offered a bounty of 
fifty pounds for every Indian scalp that should be secured. 
This encouragement, in addition to the natural desire to re- 
taliate for the inhuman deeds committed against them, caused 
the whites to speedily organize several scouting parties along 
the lower Merrimack valley for the purpose of driving back 
the enemy and striking a blow in self-defence. About twenty 
of these parties were organized, to see more or less of service, 
but the first and most conspicuous of them was that gallant 
band of which I am to speak, "Tyng's Snow-Shoe Scouts." 

The depredations of the Amerinds occurred mostly in the 
summer. It was not only easier for them to move about like 
so many shadows under the forest shade, but the white settlers 
were then occupied with their various duties about their new 
homes, and less prepared to combat them. Upon the other 
hand, the English made nearly all their retaliatory expeditions 
against their wily foes during the winter seasons. If the 
forests were snow-clogged then, the undergrowth was over- 
laden with its heavy mantle, the streams and ponds bridged 
with silver planking, and the red men, now segregated in groups, 
more readily found than in the summer when they were scattered. 
The whites, too, had more leisure in which to pursue this 



stubborn warfare. The addition of snow-shoes, upon which the 
scouts could move with rapidity and ease where in the summer 
they could penetrate only with difficulty, assured the success of 
these wintry raids. 

It is said that it was a woman's forethought which sug- 
gested the snow-shoes, but be that as it may the idea found 
favor, and no sooner had Capt. William Tyng petitioned the 
Massachusetts General Court for the privilege of organizing a 
band of scouts than busy hands began to get in readiness a 
supply of these useful objects. Belonging to one of the first 
families of old Dunstable, * that had been prominent in the pre- 
vious Indian wars, one of the selectmen of that town, and a 
man of undoubted bravery and sagacity, the leader found no 
difficulty in getting men to enlist under him. Within a week 
forty-four had signified their willingness — ay, eagerness — to 
accompany Captain Tyng upon his arduous expedition. Their 
names and residences are as follows : 

John Shepley, Chelmsford, Mass., son of John, born in 
1677; died September 14, 1736. His family had suffered at the 
hands of the Indians, his father, mother, two brothers and a 
sister having been killed by them while he was taken a captive 
and carried to Canada, where he lived among them for nearly 
four years. Judge Ether Shepley of the Supreme Court of 
Maine and a United States Senator, was among his descendants. 

Nathaniel Woods, Groton, son of Samuel and Alice 
(Rushton) Woods; born March 25, 1668; died June 20, 1738. 
Gen. Henry Woods of Pepperell was a grandson. 

Thomas Lund, Dunstable, son of Thomas, born September 
9, 1682; killed by the Indians at Naticook, September 5, 1724. 

*The original township of Dunstable contained several of the present 
towns of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. — Editor. 


Joseph Perham, Groton; son of John and Lydia (Shepley) 
Perham ; born in Chelmsford December 22, 1669. 

John Spalding-, Jr., Chelmsford, son of John and Hannah 
(Hale) Spalding; born February 15, 1659; died about 17 10 in 
Plainfield, Ct. 

William Longley, Groton, son of John and Hannah Long- 
ley; born March 12, 1669. 

Joseph Lakin, Groton, son of Ensign John and Mary 
Lakin; died April 1, 1747. 

Jonathan Page, Groton, son of John and Faith (Dunster) 
Page; born in Watertown June 24, 1677; died October 10, 175 1 . 
He was the ancestor of Gov. John Page of New Hampshire. 

John Hunt, Billerica, son of Samuel and Ruth (Todd) 
Hunt; born in 1680; died January 22, 1740-41. 

Peter Talbird (now Talbot), Chelmsford. Ancestry un- 
known. Left a son George, who acquired his rights in the 
future benefits of the expedition. 

Benony Perham, Chelmsford. Date of birth not found ; 
died in 1723. Left son Samuel to inherit his interests. 

Josiah Richardson, Chelmsford, son of Capt. Josiah and 
Remembrance (Underwood) Richardson; born May 18, 1665; 
died October 17, 17.11. 

James Blanchard, Groton, son of John and Hannah 
Blanchard ; date of birth not ascertained ; died in February 
1704, following the expedition, from a sickness resulting from 
the hardships and exposures of the trip. He was clerk of Groton 
at the time. 

John Richardson, Chelmsford, brother of Josiah, born in 
Chelmsford February 14, 1669-70; died September 13, 1746. 



Samuel Chamberlain, Chelmsford, son of Thomas and 
Sarah (Proctor) Chamberlain; born January II, 1679; died 
April 12, 1767. 

Paul Fletcher, Chelmsford, son of Joshua and Gustie 
(Jewell) Fletcher; born about 1670 and alive in 1740. 

Joseph Parker, Groton, son of Capt. Joseph and Margaret 
Parker; born March 30, 1653; died in 1725. He was active 
throughout his life in Indian warfare. 

Joseph Blanchard, Dunstable, son of Deacon John and 
Hannah Blanchard; born in 1669; died in 1727. His son Joseph 
Blanchard was a colonel in the French and Indian war ; was a 
member of the Royal Council of New Hampshire ; made the 
survey for the first map of this state, which was considered of 
great value. He was appointed Council of the state by man- 
damus of the Crown, and succeeded Chief Justice JarTrey as a 
Judge of the Superior Court. He was prominent as a Pro- 
prietor's Clerk and active in the surveys of the early townships 
in southern New Hampshire. 

William Whitney, Groton, son of Joshua and Abigail 
(Tarbell) Whitney; born February 26, 1677-78; died in Plain- 
field, Conn., in 1754. 

Joseph Butterfield, Dunstable ; son of Joseph and Lydia 
(Ballard) Butterfield; born June 6, 1680; died in Tyngsborough 
in 1757. His daughter Deborah married Col. Samuel Moor of 
Old Londonderry. 

Ebeneezer Spalding, Chelmsford, son of Lieut. Edward 
and Margaret (Barret) Spalding; born January 13, 1683; died 
in Nottingham West, now Hudson. 

Nathaniel Blood, Groton, son of Nathaniel and Anne 
(Parker) Blood; born January 16, 1679. His son William died 
in the service of the French and Indian war. 


Nathaniel Butterfield, Chelmsford, son of Nathaniel and 
Deborah (Underwood) Butterfield; born in 1677 and died in 

Jonathan Hill, Billerica, son of Jonathan and Mary 
(Brackett) Hill; born August 21, 1669; died December 15, 1743. 

Eleazer Parker, Groton, son of James and Elizabeth 
(Long) Parker; born November 9, 1660; died at Norridgewock 
in the winter of 1705, while accompanying Captain William 
Tyng upon an expedition the following winter into the wild 
white woods of Maine. 

Thomas Tarbel, Groton, son of Thomas and Anna 
(Long-ley) Tarbel; born July 6, 1667; died January 24, 1717. 
His son Thomas became prominent among the early inhabitants 
of Groton. 

Henry Farwell, son of Henry and Mary Farwell, was 
born in Chelmsford in 1665. His son Oliver, was one of the 
victims of the ambush by the Indians at Naticook, September 5, 
1724, and another son, Josiah, was a lieutenant under Lovewell 
in his memorable campaign, being one of those killed in the 
fight with the Sokoki, May 8, 1725. 

Samuel Woods, Groton, son of Samuel and Alice (Rush- 
ton) Woods; born in Cambridge January 3, 1660; died in 1712. 

Stephen Peirce, or Pierce, Chelmsford, son of Stephen 
and Tabitha (Parker) Pierce, was born in 1768; died September 
9, 1749. His grandson Benjamin Pierce was Governor of New 
Hampshire, and his great-grandson was Franklin Pierce, the 
President from that state. 

Richard Warner, son of Samuel and Mercy (Swan) 
W r arner; was a native of Ipswich, where he was born August 13, 
1676. He came to Groton a few years prior to the snow-shoe 
expedition, where he died about 1710. 



John Cummings, Dunstable, son of John and Elizabeth 
(Kingsley) Cummings; born July 7, 1682; died in Westford 
April 27, 1759. 

John Longley, Groton, son of William and Deliverance 
(Pease) Longley. At the attack upon Groton July 27, 1694, 
his father, mother, and five sisters and brothers were slain. 
He, with two sisters, was taken to Canada a captive, where he 
remained for four years. He died in Groton May 25, 1750, an 
honored citizen. 

John Spalding, Sen., son of Andrew and Hannah (Jefts) 
Spalding; born in Chelmsford August 20, 1682; died March 7, 

Henry Spalding, brother of the above, born November 
2, 1680. 

Samuel Davis, Groton, son of Samuel and Mary Davis ; 
born January 8, 1669-70. 

John Holden, Groton, son of Stephen and Hannah Hol- 
den. He was taken captive by the Indians in 1697, and re- 
mained a captive for nearly two years. His father and brother 
were captured at the same time. He died December 27, 1753. 

Jonathan Butterfield, belonged in Chelmsford, and is 
believed to have been a brother of Nathaniel Butterfield. 

Jonathan Parkerson, son of John and Mary Parkerson, 
was born in Chelmsford January 2, 1683. 

Stephen Keyes, Chelmsford, believed to have been a son 
of Solomon and Frances (Grant) Keyes, a native of Sudbury. 
He died February 6, 17 14. 

Thomas Cummings, son of John and Sarah (Howlet) 
Cummings, was born in Dunstable October 6, 1658; died January 
20, 1722-23. He was an uncle of John Cummings, another of 
the scouts. 

Jonathan Richardson, Billcrica, son of Thomas and Mary 
(Stimpson) Richardson; born February 14, 1682: died August 
13, 1720. 1 


Joseph Gilson, son of Joseph and Mary (Cooper) Gilson; 
was born in Groton, March 3, 1666-67. 

Ephraim Hildreth, was born in Chelmsford and died in 
Draent September 26, 1740. He was a major of the militia, 
town clerk of Dracut and a prominent business man. He was 
one of the proprietors of Concord, X. II., and a leading actor 
in the attempted settlement of Tyng Township, owning the first 
mill within that grant. 

Timothy Spalding was a brother of John Spalding, Jr., 
and was born about 1676. He lived in that part of Chelmsford 
now Westford, dying April 14, 1763. 

Capt. William Tyng, the organizer and leader of this 
expedition, was the second son of Col. Jonathan and Sarah 
(Usher) Tyng, born April 22, 1679. His grandfather was the 
Hon. Edward Tyng, born in Dunstable, England, in 1600. 
His father, Jonathan, was one of the original proprietors of 
Dunstable, and with his family remained in town during the 
period of King Philip's war when all others fled to a haven of 
safety. William, as far as the records show, was the first white 
child born in the town, and he became a prominent citizen 
holding the office of selectman at the time of organization of his 
famous band of scouts. In 1707 he was a representative to 
the General Court, and was made a major of the armed forces 
of that vfcinity in 1709. The following summer, while engaged 
in active service he was mortally wounded by the Indians and 
died a few days later while being treated for his wound at 
Concord. He led other scouting parties than the one under 
consideration, and his younger brother, Col. Eleazer, was the 
leader of a relief party sent to succor the ill-fated Lovewell. 
Major William Tyng's son, John, was an honored and influential 
citizen, who when the old township was divided became a 
resident of Tyngsborough. He was judge and leading factor 
in the Tyng grant to be mentioned later. 



While the recording hand is silent in this matter, I have 
every reason to believe that Captain Tyng had a no less noted 
person for his guide upon these expeditions than Joe English,* 
the friendly Agawam, whose early name had been Merruwa- 
comet, .meaning the "first to reach the meeting-place." 

Captain Tyng had his men in readiness for marching, 
and on December 28, 1703, the party moved up the Merrimack 
valley, leading in the pathless way for the many that were to 
follow during the sanguinary years of conflict to follow. Over 
this same route Woodard and his companions had been the first 
white men to penetrate upon that first original survey of the 
Merrimack, made by order of the Massachusetts court in 1638. 

The Sokoki, located upon the intervales of the Saco at 
Picwackett, as in later years, were the greatest source of 
annoyance to the whites, and a certain chief among them known 
as Raven Plume, on account of a black feather he wore in his 
head-dress, at the head of a small band of dusky slayers had 
become particularly obnoxious to the English. They had desig- 
nated this leader of their enemies as "The Old Harry," which 

*Joe English was a grandson of Masconnomet, chief sagamore of 
the Agawam family of Amerinds living within the territory now com- 
prised in Ipswich, Mass. He inherited considerable land from his 
grandparent, which he conveyed to the whites and his wife by various 
deeds to be found recorded in the Massachusetts Military Records. 
Many are the stories related of his bravery and fidelity to the whites. 
His death was generally lamented, and the Massachusetts General 
Assembly made a grant of land and allowed the widow and her two 
children a pension, "because he had died in the service of his country." 

Those early scouting parties were usually led by friendly Indians, 
and as late as 1724, Harmon, in his revengeful raid against the French 
priest Rasle and his dusky followers at Xorridgewock, was guided by 
the friendly Mohawk, Christian, and this same Indian a year later died 
while engaged in a similar service to Col. Eleazer Tyng, a young brother 
of the hero of my remarks, when upon an expedition the object of which 
was to succor Lovewell and his men upon their memorable raid in April 
and May, 1725. Joe English met a tragic death at the hands of his 
countrymen in this vicinity July 26, 1706. 

The original pay-roll of Captain Tyng is not preserved, but the 
record of the money paid to him is to be found in the Massachusetts 
Coiuifil Records Vol. IV, page 20. It amounts to 71 pounds, ir shillings, 
which miiii in. hides j$ shillings p;iid to a surgeon for caring for one of 
ilw men u ho came home sick 

— Editor. 


seemed the blackest color they could apply to him, and no doubt 
Captain Tyng had this dreaded foe in mind when he organized 
his snow-shoe scouts. Thus, Captain Tyng moved in that 
direction, always with extreme caution, sending out scouts by 
day to look for signs of the enemy, and never bleeping at night 
without a watchful guard. 

Captain Tyng was a God-fearing man in those days when 
fear of Divine wrath meant more than an idle threat. He and 
his hardy followers belonged to that religious body known as 
Dissenters, who had come to this country for one reason, to 
enjoy the freedom of worship. That freedom, however, was of 
a very austere sort. The Sabbath was strictly observed, and 
he who disobeyed this precept was sure to call down upon his 
head dire condemnation and punishment. Each succeeding Sun- 
day these snow-shoe scouts rested, the leader, with well-thumbed 
bible in hand holding appropriate ceremony, offering a sermon 
and prayer. The depth of feeling and earnestness of that little 
band of worshipers as they knelt upon the carpet of snow under 
the canopied church of the forest may be imagined but cannot 
be described. No walls of masonry circumscribed the range of 
the preacher's voice which rose upon the evening air with un- 
broken power to the white throne of God. The melody of 
church bells was rendered in matchless beauty by the swelling 
anthems of the forest choirs brought out by the wild winds as 
they shook the roof of giant pines forming the great natural 
cathedral where the Genius of Solitude is the master builder. 

Something of the rigidity with which these services were 
held and the manner in which the Sabbath was observed may be 
understood from the fact that one of the men, John Richardson, 
was fined by Captain Tyng forty shillings for "wetting a piece 
of an old hat to put into his shoe," which chafed his foot upon 
the march. 

Toward nightfall on the eighteenth day the imprint of a 
moccasined foot was discovered by Joe English, and a halt was 



quickly ordered. The track had been made within half an hour, 
and it was believed that some of the enemies were encamped 
near-by. At any rate it stood them in hand to move with greater 
caution than ever. They were now in the heart of the country 
about the lodgment of the Sokoki. The guide, accompanied by 
one other, reconnoitred the scene, and they were not gone 
fifteen minutes before they returned with the announcement that 
"Old Harry," with four of his followers, were bivouacked in the 
valley below. It was quite certain, Joe English declared, that 
the Sokoki intended to stop there until morning, and he counseled 
a pause where they were until it should be deemed wise to 
advance upon the enemy. 

With impatience and anxiety the band remained inactive, 
waiting the word of their leader to move. If 'the wintry cold 
pierced their bodies they dared not relieve themselves of the 
sufferings by kindling a fire. The most that could be done was 
to move silently to and fro in a circumscribed space and defy 
the cold, the mittened hand always clutching the iron throat of 
the trusty firearm, ready for use at the first alarm. Joe was 
gone longer on his second scout than at first, and when he re- 
turned it was simply to say that the foes had rolled themselves 
in their blankets, but were not yet in that sound sleep which he 
washed. So another hour passed on leaden wings, when the 
friendly chief made his third and last survey, coming back with 
the welcome tidings that the time for action had come. 

Captain Tyng and Joe English had already decided to 
advance in two lines or files, their courses so shaped as to 
approach the sleeping red men from right angles. At the proper 
moment Joe was to give a sharp cry in the Indian tongue. This 
was expected to arouse the unsuspecting sleepers, who would 
naturally leap to their feet in alarm. Then, before they could 
discover the real cause of this signal, the whites were to pour 
a deadly broadside upon them. 


Captain Tyng led the file upon the right, while his dusky 
ally, Merruwacomet, guided the other line. The snow-shoes 

effectually muffled every sound of the double line of march, and 
the scouts were too well trained in border warfare to betray their 
movements by any careless step. A deep silence rested upon 
the whited night. If the wind shook the arms of the fir upon 
the distant mountainside, it did not so much as lift a finger of 
the sensitive birch in the lowlands. Only the snapping of an 
occasional twig bitten by the frost broke the ominous stillness. 

So well and accurately did these hies of scouts move that 
no sooner had one reached an advantageous position than the 
other was in readiness for the opening fire. With a tinge of 
triumph in his voice, remembering the many wrongs inflicted 
upon him by his race, Joe English gave the war-signal, which 
must have rung up and down the valley with startling in- 
tonations, and taken up by the mountains sent back as a challenge 
between the races. 

With what terror the red men leaped to their feet may be 
imagined, but they fell even swifter before the deadly fire of 
the white avengers, "Old Harry" the first to rise and the first 
to fall. Viewed in the light of today it was a cold-blooded deed, 
but it was only the awful echo of the war-whoops that had 
sounded the death-knell of two hundred innocent lives, the 
volley of musketry, the extinguishing flame of hundreds of 
torches swung over peaceful homes. "Old Harry" had been a 
merciless foe; he died as a true warrior of his race would have 
met his fate. 

The slaying accomplished with a rapidity and ease almost 
regretted by them, the victors looked to securing the trophies of 
their expedition. It is said, though I cannot vouch for its truth- 
fulness, that Joe English declined to take part in this work. It 
is possible he remembered them as his kinsmen. Still he knew, 
so deadly was the hatred of the others, that they would have 



shot him down with fiendish delight. In fact, a little over two 
years later he was surprised and killed as a wild beast would 
have been destroyed. 

The object of their mission accomplished, with the gory 
proofs of their victory, the scouts started in the morning upon 
their return. The journey home was uneventful. They reached 
Dunstable on January 25, 1703-4, having been gone three days 
less than a month. The story of their expedition must have 
been listened to by eager listeners, and curious ones have looked 
with feelings akin to awe upon the ghastly products of that 
wintry scout. The court paid Captain Tyng and his men the 
expected bounty which amounted to two hundred pounds in the 
currency of the times. 

While this expedition and others that followed' that winter 
in a measure checked the depredations of the Indians it did not 
end them, for within three years we find that the enemy dared 
to penetrate even to the homes of the settlers in this vicinity, 
and life after life was sacrificed to the gluttony of their ven- 
geance. The desperate struggle between the races lasted until 
17 13, or for more than ten years. Scarcely had a decade of 
peace passed before there followed those stirring scenes cul- 
minating in Lovewell's deadly fight on that memorable May 
morning 1725. 

In conclusion let it not be forgotten that whatever we have 
accomplished, whatever has been done in building up a civili- 
zation here in our rugged state, the foundation was laid by the 
men and women who dared and conquered the Genius of the 
wilderness ; the men and women who followed the Indian trails 
into the primeval forest, where now our streets and highways 
band the country, dotted with farmhouses or lined with city 

Little did it matter if they came, as some of them did, 
with an accumulation of wealth which in their home land would 
have supported them in comfort, they met difficulties here here- 


tofore undreamed of, dangers no money could avert, hard- 
ships and privations which the foresight of man, under those 
circumstances, could not spare them. But the majority did not 
come thus simply laden; they were the rank and file of the 
British yeomanry, who made no murmur against the fate they 
had invoked, but bent to the undertaking they had imposed upon 
themselves with a faith in their God matched only by that un- 
swerving confidence in themselves that they were equal to the 
task. Perhaps the first class suffered the more for the reason 
that they had a brighter past, and may have found it harder to 
submit to the inevitable. 

This generation ne'er can know 
The toils they had to undergo. 
While laying the great forests low. • 

Alex McLachlax, Canadian poet. 

In those days every man was a hero, every woman a 
heroine, who together overcame wild nature, cleared the forest 
fields, builded their humble dwellings, erected their mills, con- 
structed their churches and schoolhouses, where a few years 
before the nearest approach to civilization was the conical wig- 
wam of the red man, and the howl of the marauding wolf the 
voice of Solitude to her God. 

Early Mining Operations Near Lowell. By 
Sawyer, Eso. Read May 13, 1908. 

Alfred P. 

New England, with its lakes and rivers, its mountains, 
hills, and valleys, presents a variety of scenery which is not 
found elsewhere, but the descriptions usually given to this north- 
eastern corner of our country are somewhat misleading, so far as 
eastern Massachusetts is concerned. The summer pilgrim docs 
not find in the long sand beaches, the projecting arm of Cape 
Cod, the Elizabeth Islands, and the shoals beyond Nantucket, 
that "stern and rock-bound coast" described by the poetess of 
the early Pilgrims, nor do the sand-plains around this city and 
the swamps and lowlands of the coastal plain between it and 
the sea reveal to the stranger any fulfillment of his dreams of 
cloud-capped mountains and the white-hills. 

These are all to be found however within the borders of 
these six small states, and it is this variety of scenery which 
gives New England its physical charm. The waters from these 
hills, impounded in its lakes and ponds, and falling noisily in 
their short course to the sea over nature's barriers of rock and 
ledge, offered power for manufacturing in various forms which 
its people have fully utilized. 

The soil is poor, the farms are naturally limited in extent, 
and with the improvement in methods of transportation, the 
broad and fertile prairies of the west feed the people of these 
states whose mills send their varied products to every part of 
the earth. By the conservation of natural resources and by 
careful husbandry and intensive farming the agricultural pro- 
ducts of New England may be much increased, but the fact 
remains that its hills and valleys are incapable of supporting a 
dense population dependent upon the productions of its soil. 

Its surface is generally rugged, a very considerable por- 
tion of its area is rocky, and much of it is mountainous. 

Where these physical conditions obtain in other parts of 
the country, men have brought forth wealth from the rocks, 
the mountains have yielded up their stores of gold 1 and silver and 


copper and iron, the sandy valleys have been rich in placer gold, 
while coal and petroleum have been found in most of the states 
and even under the waters of the sea. 

All around us we have proof of nature's bounty in the 
mineral world. 

New Jersey has her zinc, iron and potter's clay ; Penn- 
sylvania her coal, iron, oil, and natural gas; on the west shore 
of Lake Champlain New York has rich iron mines, and a little 
further west her beds of salt; while the Provinces have their 
mines of gold, nickel, and iron, and Boston is lighted with gas 
produced from the abundant supplies of coal brought from the 
Nova Scotia mines. 

New England has none of these of commercial value. 

Are we therefore to conclude that she was forgotten in 
the mineralization of this continent, and that her hills are merely 
masses of gneiss, granite, porphyry, and shale, partly covered 
with conifers which maintain a precarious existence amid their 
barren surroundings, or are we to believe that the wealth is here 
under our feet, and that we have looked too much for the pot 
of gold afar off beneath the rainbow's tips, while El Dorado is 
amid our own hills and only awaits our search. 

It was long believed that the New England rocks, at 
least those of eastern Massachusetts, were archaean or of the 
azoic age, but the cutting of the mica schists and slates which 
are Cambrian or Silurian, by the granite which is newer, in- 
dicates an eruption as late as the carboniferous age. Through 
these ancient folded and twisted sedimentary rocks the granite 
was erupted interspersed with trap. 

Everywhere in this vicinity we see the manifestations of 
uplifting and folding under enormous pressure.. The bed of the 
Merrimack below Pawtucket falls shows the strata of metamor- 
phic slate in an almost vertical position, and on a wooded hill 
just behind the targets at the Dracut rifle-range, the broken 




tops of similar strata project like ancient headstones, and give 
quite an eerie feeling to one who stumbles over them in the 
silent woods at sunset. 

Unmetalliferous as are these ancient rocks, the hills of 
New England are not unproductive. Vermont has her marble, 
granite, and slate quarries ; New Hampshire her famous granite 
and also soapstone and mica; Massachusetts finds ample supply 
of building- stone in her granite quarries on Cape Ann and in 
Quincy and elsewhere, and beds of clay in all the states insure 
a sufficient supply of brick. 

Not content with these forms of mineral wealth, the New 
Englanders have from earliest times prospected and explored 
their hills in search for the precious metals, and, as stated in 
Nourse's History of Harvard, "There are very many towns, 
even in enlightened Massachusetts, wherein costly excavations 
made by misguided treasure-seekers can be shown. * * The 
chance of finding some glittering specimen of iron pyrites, or a 
few lustrous crystals of galena, often changed a cheerful, well-to- 
do farmer, within a few months, into an impecunious and sour- 
visaged mine-owner. The hazel rod never failed in 'promising 
indications' so long as any precious metals could be extracted 
from the pockets of the credulous, and small veins of worthless 
iron ore were followed deep into the solid ledge, in daily ex- 
pectation that the baser metal would suddenly give place to the 
noblest of all. The impulse that led to an excavation in the east 
face of Oak Hill, about the close of the war for independence, 
was doubtless some discovery of glittering minerals in the sur- 
face rock. In the argillaceous slate, of which this hill is largely 
composed, are veins and nodules of quartz, not dissimilar in 
character to the rock formation found to be gold bearing in 
North Carolina. In this quartz are frequently traces of iron, 
lead and copper, in the form of sulphides partly decomposed. 
In 1783 a company of twenty-five associates, including sundry 
inhabitants of Harvard, prominent among whom [Was Colonel 


Henry Bromfield, was formed for exploring a mineral vein in 
this locality, and the work of pushing a drift was begun in 
July of 1784. Operations were conducted in an intermittent way 
for four years before the 'silver mine' was finally abandoned. 
The shaft, after passing through the overlying gravel, was 
driven about fifty feet into the solid rock, sometimes by 
blasting, sometimes by heating the stone with great fires and 
then throwing water upon it. It was high enough for a man to 
enter standing erect. The enterprise seems to have been under 
the management of two men named Ives and Peck, Englishmen, 
who claimed to have discovered the minerals in the place which 
led the associates into their visionary investment."' 

Undeterred however by failure or by ridicule, the New 
Englanders have persisted in their search, and Mature has cer- 
tainly revealed enough to give them hope. 

In the valley of a stream flowing from the mountains in 
Worcester, Vermont, gold is found in sufficient quantity at times 
to enable men to earn a good day's pay in washing the sands in 
a crude fashion. The quartz gold mine at Lisbon, New Hamp- 
shire, has been worked spasmodically, and in the three upper 
counties of that state are a number of old mines, whose ores are 
mainly sulphides of copper, lead, zinc, and iron, with small 
amounts of the precious metals, which report a small production 
from time to time. In Vermont, on the Connecticut river, is the 
Ely copper mine, opened in 1821, which was a producer for 
many years. It has an ore body twenty to thirty feet in thickness, 
and varying in width up to one hundred and fifty feet. Near 
Corinth in that state, are several copper mines which are active 
producers. The original discovery of copper ore at Corinth was 
in 1846, and at the present time one of these mines is opened by 
an adit one thousand feet long, by two inclined shafts four 
hundred and seventy-five feet and two hundred feet deep 
respectively, and by numerous drifts and crosscuts. The Ver- 
mont Copper Company now working the Elizabeth mine which 



has about the same amount of development, has installed a new 
400 ton blast-furnace, with a view to a daily output of from three 
hundred to five hundred tons. This is the oldest of the Vermont 
copper mines and was opened in 1793. The deposits are large 
bodies of chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite in crystalline schists. 

The United States Geological Survey for 1907 reports 
that Vermont produced in that year 650,425 pounds of copper 
valued at $130,085; 3814 ounces of silver valued at $2,517, and 
1.98 ounces of gold valued at $41. Maine is credited in this 
report with a production of zinc valued at $118, but none of the 
other New England states show any production of their mines 
for that year. Maine however has her silver mines, as many in- 
vestors in the '80s learned to their sorrow, while no miner could 
wish for richer specimens of ore than those from the Newbury- 
port silver mine which caused much excitement in this state in 
1875-76, but this deposit of galena was much richer than it was 
extensive. In Stockbridge and other towns in the western part 
of this state, the beds of brown hydrate of iron called hematite 
have been extensively and profitably worked. The Franconia 
iron mine in New Hampshire is well known, the ore being the 
magnetic oxide of iron in epidote and quartz. This magnetic 
iron ore, or magnetite, is very generally diffused in the azoic 
rocks, especially in the crystalline and metamorphic rocks which 
characterize this section. In fact, iron is probably the most 
widely diffused of any of the metals in this part of New England. 
It frequently adds a touch of color to the rocks which take on 
most beautiful and delicate tints owing to its presence, but 
generally it is shown in the duller effects produced by its oxida- 
tion on exposure to the weather, as we see it in the rust-stained 
faces of the ledges of mica schist which abound in this vicinity. 

The manufacture of iron in this country began about 
1620 in Virginia, but the first blast-furnace whose operation was 
continuous was in Massachusetts, in that part of Lynn now 
Saugus. Iron ore had been found in small ponds in.' that vicinity 


soon after its settlement in 1629. In 1632 Morton mentions the 
existence of "iron stone" in New England, and in November 
1637 Abraham Shaw was granted by the General Court one half 
of the benefit of any "coles or yron stone wch shal be found in 
any common ground wch is in the conntryes disposeing." 

In 1642 specimens of this Saugus ore were taken to Lon- 
don by Robert Bridges, and "The Company of Undertakers for 
the Iron Works" was there formed, and £ 1,000 advanced to 
establish the works. Henry and James Leonard, Joseph Jenks, 
and other workmen were brought from England in 1643, an( l a 
furnace was erected on the westerly bank of the Saugus river 
at the head of tide water. The site is marked by the old banks 
of slag, and pieces of charcoal and broken iron castings are still 
found there. The village was called "Hammersmith," from the 
place in England whence many of the workmen came. The fur- 
nace cost about £1,500, and Winthrop, in a letter dated Septem- 
ber 30, 1648, says: — "The furnace runs eight tons per week, and 
the bar iron is as good as Spanish." The iron cost about £20 
per ton. One of the first castings made was a pot holding about 
a quart, which is still preserved. The furnace was under the 
direction of Joseph Jenks, the first iron-master of America, who 
made the dies for the "pine-tree shillings" in 1652, and in 1654 
made the first fire-engine in America, under an agreement with 
the authorities in Boston "for an Ingine to carry water in case of 

The company was made free from taxes for ten years, 
and the workmen were exempted from military service, but the 
works were not financially successful. Much complaint was 
made by the settlers that the furnace would exhaust the supply 
of wood and that the country would be impoverished, and the 
erection of the dam resulted in vexatious and expensive litigation 
on account of flowage. As Hubbard says, "Instead of drawing 
out bars of iron for the country's use. there were hammered out 




nothing but contentions and law suits." The dam was cut away 
in 1 67 1, depriving- the company of its water power for a time, 
and it ceased operations in 1688. 

One or both of the Leonards, who had worked at the 
Lynn iron-works, superintended the erection of similar works at 
Braintree in 1648, at Taunton in 1652, and at Rowley in 1668. 

Concord also had its iron-works, thus described in Shat- 
tuck's History of the town. "A company was incorporated, 
on the 5th March, 1658, to erect one or more iron-works in 
Concord. These were built near the present cotton factory, 
and operations were commenced in 1660. The 'zinder-holes and 
plates' were cast at Oliver Purchis' iron works at Lynn, and 
put in by Joseph Jenks. The company had permission, 30th 
May, 1660, 'to digg iron ore without molestation 1 in any land 
now in the Court's possession.' The southern grant to Major 
Willard, was subsequently sold to this company, and became 
known as the 'Iron-Work Farm.' It lay partly in Concord, in 
Acton, and in Sudbury, as they are now bounded. Nathaniel 
Oliver, John Eyre, and Joseph Parsons, of Boston, sold one-half 
of the whole property of this company, on the 23rd May, 1684, 
then consisting of the iron works and 1688 acres of land, to 
the Hon. Peter Bulkeley, of Concord, and James Russell, of 
Charlestown, for £300. The works were, however, abandoned 
after fifty years, the proprietors having found that a better 
quality of iron could be imported at less expense." 

The ore used in all these early iron-works was the hydrate 
oxide of iron, which was found as a deposit in many of the 
ponds, and also in the swamps and meadow r s in eastern Massa- 
chusetts. It is known as limonite; from the Greek word for 
meadow, and its common designation as bog ore or bog iron ore 
accurately describes it. The early settlers discovered that if the 
deposit was removed, the iron-bearing springs or streams would 
form a new deposit within twenty or thirty years. Sea-shells 
furnished a sufficient flux for smelting it with charcoal, and the 


product was a fairly good iron, although on account of the 
phosphorus present it was generally only tit fur castings. 

The quantity of bog ore in and around Chelmsford early 
attracted attention, and the town records show that "At a 
Gen'll Town meeting, march the 4th, 1706-7, Jonathan Richard- 
son and John Richardson had granted the Liberty of erecting 
Iron works upon Stony brook with the conveniency of flowing 
provided it Damnifies none of the inhabetants." 

The location of this iron-works is unknown, but, if the 
valley of Stony brook between North Chelmsford and Forge 
Village was once a lake as has been claimed, the presence of the 
bog ore in the valley is easily explained. 

Probably the Chelmsford grant was nearly contemporan- 
eous with the furnace or forge started by Jonas Prescott 
at the outlet of Stony Brook pond, which became known as 
Forge pond and the settlement as Forge Milage, now in West- 
ford. He was the grandson of John Prescott, who with four 
others, settled Lancaster in 1647, naming the town after their 
native county in England. John Prescott was a blacksmith and 
millwright. A grist-mill built by him in 1653 and a saw-mill 
which he built in 1659 and operated, stood on the site of the 
Bigelow Carpet Company's mill in Clinton, and another mill 
which he built in Harvard in 1667 ne S' ave t0 ms son Jonas. 

The word blacksmith in those days was a broad term 
descriptive of a worker in the baser metals. As John Prescott 
brought with him from England his coat of mail, helmet and 
armor, which he used in the early wars, it is entirely probable 
that, whether cavalier or puritan, he was an armorer as well as 
blacksmith, and could make and repair armor, tools, and weapons 
as well as perform the humbler occupations of his calling. He 
was one of the petitioners for colonial license to erect iron-works 
in Lancaster and Concord, and according to Nourse, in his 
Annals of Lancaster, (1884), he planned a bloomery in con- 
nection with his saw-mill at Clinton. Slag and, cinders such as 



accumulate at a forge were to be found at this place, bounded, 
as described in the grant to him in 1657, — "by the east end of 
a ledge of Iron Stone Rocks southards," but as this was so near 
the date of the construction of the Concord iron-works before 
referred to, it is probable that this pioneer made use of the bog 
ore which was used in these early furnaces. 

His son Jonas built a mill at Forge pond by vote of the 
town of Groton passed June 15, 1680, after the resettlement of 
the town following its destruction by the Indians in 1676, It 
was near the "warre" (wier) purchased by the town for twenty 
shillings from Andrew the Indian. As Jonas Prescott followed 
his father's craft, he undoubtedly had a forge and used the bog 
ore found below his location on Stony brook. The property 
passed to his son of the same name, the above grand'son of John 
Prescott, who enlarged the works and erected forges for manu- 
facturing iron from the bog ore which he brought from the 
northern part of Groton. The product of this forge was known 
as ''Groton iron," and was brittle and not of good quality. 
This iron-works continued in operation until 1865 under the 
control of the descendants of the first Jonas Prescott. The last 
of that name who carried on the business, Jonas Prescott who 
died in 1870, was the owner in 1863 of forty shares of the 
Forge company. The Forge Village Horse Nail Company, 
organized January 5, 1865, purchased the property and put in 
machinery for making nails. Its capital stock was $30,000. 
which was increased in 1868 to $100,000. The officers were 
John T. Daly, president, John F. 1 [askins, secretary, and 
Alexander H. Coryl, treasurer. The business was carried on 
successfully for several years, but was closed in 1877. ^ n 
October 1879 the buildings and water power were purchased 
by Abbot & Company, of Westford, who conveyed the same in 
1900 to the Abbot Worsted Company. 

About the year 1823, William Adams, who owned much 
of the land in the Newfields section of Chelmsford including 


the bed of Nevvfield pond, brought these deposits to the attention 
of General Sheperd Leach, who was then carrying on an iron 
and foundry business in Easton, where he owned seven furnaces 

as shown by the tax-lists fur that year. 

"Phis pond- originally contained nearly one hundred 
acres and its surface was about thirty feet above the level 
of Stony brook, although it discharged its water into Deep brook 
through an outlet at the north end of the pond. Mr. John 
Richardson owned a mill on Stony brook, and at a town-meeting 
held May 25, 1709, it was voted, "That John Richardson shall 
have the Liberty of Drawing of the pond called New-held pond 
to snply his mill with Water; and shall have the benefit of said 
pond to the high-water mark." Acting presumably under this 
authority, although Allen in his History gives the' date of the in- 
cident as in the year 1700, Richardson commenced the con- 
struction of a canal through the sandy embankment which 
separated the waters of the pond from the valley of Stony brook. 
The workmen had completed about two-thirds of the excavation, 
when the waters of the pond burst through the bank, sweeping 
away a negro workman named "Jack" whose body was never 
recovered. The pond became a swamp partly covered in time 
with a heavy growth of wood, and producing a long meadow 
grass which was cut and used in packing the products of the 
Chelmsford Glass Works, which were established at Middlesex 
Village nearly a century later. 

Mr. Adams conceived the idea of filling this breach in the 
bank of the old pond, and by bringing the waters of Stony brook- 
to it by a canal from West Chelmsford, to fill it to its original 
capacity, and by means of a canal from this reservoir to utilize 
the whole fall. In 1824 General Leach purchased about nine- 
teen acres of land in the village of North Chelmsford from Mr. 
Adams, together with the bed of Newfield pond and the land 
necessary for the construction of the canals. The canal from 
West Chelmsford was made, the pond, then known as Leach's 



pond and now called Crystal lake, was filled, and its waters con- 
ducted through a canal which he dug to his land in North 
Chelmsford. There he erected a blast-furnace near the present 
location of Moore's mills, and obtained the power to operate his 
works and the pumps which supplied the air for the blast-furnace, 
from two breast-wheels forty feet in diameter which were fed by 
the water from his canal. The first iron was produced at this 
furnace in 1825. Much of the bog ore used in the beginning of 
this enterprise was obtained in Chelmsford and the neighboring 
towns, and was brought in by the farmers with their own teams. 
Some of it is known to have been found in the Redshire meadows 
near North Chelmsford, and some of it came from Dunstable 
and Groton. Nason, in his History of Dunstable, (1887), says: 
"Good bog-iron ore is found on the farm of the late 'Jasper P. 
Proctor, about one-half mile southeast of the center of the town. 
About half a century ago this ore was carried to Chelmsford 
and worked up to advantage. " Shattuck's History of Concord, 
(1835), states that, "Bog iron ore is found in abundance. — 
Several tons of this ore have recently been carried in boats from 
this town to the furnace in Chelmsford, and it is said to produce 
good castings." 

Limestone from the quarries near Robin's hill served as 
a flux, and the charcoal used in smelting this bog ore was made 
by General Leach in four circular kilns, which were in existence 
until the number two Moore mill was erected, and large tracts 
of land were stripped of their wood which was converted into 
charcoal for this use. Many castings, especially heavy gears, 
were made at these works for the mills in Lowell and other 
manufacturing cities. 

After the death of General Leach in 1832, the property 
passed into the hands of his brother-in-law, Captain Lincoln 
Drake, of Easton. He added a cupola furnace about 1842, and 
carried on the business until 1849. He was succeeded by 
Williams, Bird & Company, and in 1858 George T. Sheldon, who 


was a brother-in-law of Charles T. Bird of that firm, purchased 
the property and organized the Chelmsford Foundry Company 
which still conducts the business. 

As the deposits of native ore became exhausted, the works 
used iron from other sources some of which came from the 
Katahdin iron works in Maine, and, with the red molding-sand 
from New Jersey and other supplies, was brought up the Middle- 
sex canal. Under the management of Captain Drake the works 
employed about forty men. 

It is somewhat noteworthy that all the successive owners 
of this plant, General Leach, Captain Drake, and Messrs. Bird 
and Sheldon, were from Easton, then an important iron town, 
where it is claimed the first attempt in America to manufacture 
steel was made by Eliphalet Leonard about 1775 in making 

The Reverend Timothy Dwight, who was president of 
Yale from 1795 to 1817, traveled extensively through New 
England during the early years of his presidency. His eyesight 
becoming impaired, several of the senior classes in succession 
voluntarily wrote out his notes of his journeys, which were 
published in 1821 in four large volumes under the title, "Travels; 
in New England and New York: By Timothy Dwight, S. T. D., 
LL. D., Formerly President of Yale College/' He states in his 
preface that they are published to furnish people one hundred 
years thence with a knowledge of things as they then existed, 
and he certainly presents an extremely interesting picture of the 
people, industries, and culture of that day. 

On one of these journeys in 1796 which extended beyond 
Portsmouth, N. II., he returned to New Haven through south- 
eastern Massachusetts, and he gives a detailed account of the iron 
industries .which he found there. "In the two counties of 
Plymouth and Bristol," he says, "there are twenty furnaces, 
and as many forges ; a number of slitting and plating mills ; and 


a great number of people employed in the manufacture of nails, 
and other articles, of which iron is the material. The ore, of 
which a great part of this iron is made, is found in ponds and 
marshy grounds, where, if I may be allowed the term, it is con- 
stantly growing. The proof of this fact is said to be complete, 
for, where it has been exhausted, it is found again in a few years 
in considerable quantities. That which has been lately produced, 
is said, however, to be in an immature state, and unfit for 

He says that one lake in Carver has yielded five hundred 
tons of iron ore in a year, and mentions similar sources of supply 
in Bridgewater, Middleborough, Raynham, and Taunton. The 
reverend gentleman in describing Taunton, the shire-town of 
Bristol county, states that not less than eight hundred tons of 
iron are manufactured there annually, of which one-half is con- 
verted into nails, and the rest into shovels, castings, etc., and with 
halting punctuation reaches this somewhat unhappy conclusion : — 
"Were I to judge by what I saw, and heard, I should conclude, 
that the inhabitants had suffered in their morals, from the 
sessions of courts, and the influence of furnaces and forges." 

Although most of these early furnaces long ago passed 
out of existence, the iron industries established at some of them, 
especially in the Old Colony, remain to this day. Notably is this 
the case at Easton, where the "Brummagen Forge," a corruption 
of Birmingham, in England, erected about 1720 on land pur- 
chased for this purpose by Captain James Leonard four years 
previously, is represented in direct succession of ownership by 
the works of the Oliver Ames & Sons' Corporation, while L. S. & 
A. L. Drake, iron founders, continue the business to which 
Captain Lincoln Drake succeeded upon the death of General 
Leach, and which he carried on until his death in 1872. 

These early iron-works which drew their supplies of ore 
from Nature's laboratories in our Massachusetts ponds and 


swamps, served well the needs of the early colonists, and stand 
as monuments to the energy, ingenuity, and resourcefulness of 
those pioneers of the great iron industry of today. 

The mine in this vicinity with which Lowell people are 
prohably most familiar, is the Dracut Nickel Mine. 

The old "Mine-Pit," as it is locally called, lies northerly 
of the Lawrence road on the General Joseph B. Varmim farm, 
about a mile northeasterly from Varnum's Landing on Merri- 
mack river. 

This mine has been in existence so long, that most of its 
history is a matter of tradition. Its discovery is variously 
ascribed to a party of surveyors, to searchers for gold in early 
days, and to some Welsh or Cornish miners who were prospect- 
ing along the Merrimack river in the hope of finding some metal 
more precious than the iron which the mine undoubtedly con- 
tains. The yellow streaks sometimes appearing in this pyrrhotite 
ore would easily deceive by their auriferous similitude, and if 
these Welshmen or Cornishmen were the discoverers of the 
mine, their hopes of gold led them to sink a shaft of considerable 
depth. The story of its discovery by surveyors savors more of 
accident, for it is said that the deflection of the needle of the 
surveyor's compass in the vicinity of the mine led to its discovery. 

Whatever the facts may have been, the current belief 
that the mine is over two hundred years old is about all the in- 
formation which can be obtained concerning the date of its 
discovery. It is so old that a daughter of General Varnum used 
to tell her children a story which was a tradition in the family. 
One of its members being pursued by a party of Indians, had 
distanced all his pursuers excepting one. When nearly over- 
taken he reached the old mine-pit, and increasing his speed, he 
grasped with one hand a white-birch tree which grew on its 




brink, swung around it and over the pit, and dashed off on his 
altered course, while his eager pursuer plunged into the abyss. 
It certainly antedates 1721, fur on A larch 25th of that 
year there is a record of a vote for "a high way Laid out in 
dracutt, — so continuing Easterly to the mine pit hill, with a little 
crosse, also on the north side of mine pit, — this is for a country 
road from dracutt to haverhill." By an ''Indenture made the 
ninth day of September in the Thirteenth year of the Reign of 
our Soverign Lord George King of Great Britain, &c, and in the 
year of our Lord God one Thousand seven hundred and Twenty- 
six," Major Joseph Varnum entered into an agreement with 
Joseph East for mining on his farm in the easterly part of 
Dracut bounded southerly on the Merrimack river, giving him 
"full leave and liberty to set up a stamping mill for the use of 
said work on the stream near the mine Pitt on said Land and 
to flow and flood the same for the conveniancy thereof from the 
first of September to the last of April yearly forever." Numerous 
deeds of fractional mining rights in this land appear of record, 
in one of which dated "April twenty-first, Anno Domini 1729, 
In the second year of the Reign of our Soverign Lord King 
George the Second," Joseph Varnum, in consideration of "Two 
Hundred and Twenty pounds current money of New England," 
paid by Adam Winthrop, of Boston, conveys "one sixth part 
of my Right and Title in all the mines and minerals of what- 
soever nature, sort or metal that are or shall be found or dis- 
covered within my Tract of Land in Dracutt aforesaid contain- 
ing by Estimation the Quantity of Eight Hundred acres or 
there abouts." Another of these deeds contains the provision 
that the purchaser is "to be at the charge of diging the oar out 
of said mines and to pay the Kings Fifths if any such shall be- 
come due." The mine was evidently considered of value by 
General Varnum, for when he came into possession of the farm 
he procured releases of outstanding rights and titles. In one of 


these deeds entitled "Plats Mine-Pit Deed," patriotically dated 
"this twenty-seventh day of January, A domine 1777, and in 
the first year of American Independence," Abel Plats and Mary 
Plats, his wife, in consideration of "Five Shillings Lawful 
money," "do give, grant, Bargain, Sell, Alienate, and Confirm 
unto the Said Joseph Bradley Varnum and to his Heirs Ex- 
ecutors Administrators and Assigns forever all the Right title 
and Interest We Have Ever had or any Right or Heirship We 
have or Ever Shall be entitled to hold, dialling or claim in all the 
mines Minerals and other Oar and Other hidden Treasures of 
the Earth that Lie Within the Bounds of the farm formerly 
given to Samuel Varnum Esq., of Sd Dracutt Said Farm Lying 
in the Easterly Part of Sd Dracutt and also all the Other Mines 
Minerals and Other Oars that our Said Father Died Seized and 
possessed of Wheresoever it may be had or found." 

Old account books in the Varnum family contain items 
of money in pounds, shillings and pence paid for mining in 1777, 
and presumably relate to the operation of the old "mine-pit." 

There is a tradition that many years ago a vessel was 
loaded at Newburyport with ore from this mine to be smelted 
abroad, and that the vessel sailed away never to be again heard 
from. It is also said that the mine was worked in revolutionary 
days for the manufacture of cannon-balls, and it is quite possible 
that Dracut youths, with dreams of great wealth, may have 
secured ore at various times for experimental treatment. But 
all this is traditional, and within the memory of all living men 
the mine-pit was old and unused, and thus it remained, until 
the discovery of "silver" in digging a well in Newburyport in 
1875, aroused new interest in the Dracut mine. 

Up to this time the mine was supposed to be only an iron 
mine. A sample of the ore was shown in Newburyport during 
the mining excitement there, and Mr. Zalmon A. Taylor, of 
Newburyport, and Captain E. M. Sampson, of Middletown, 


Connecticut, recognized it as nickel ore. They came to Lowell, 
examined the property, had samples of the ore analyzed, bonded 
the land around the old mine, and finally secured financial 
assistance from well known Lowell business men, and commenced 

In cleaning out the old shaft, the timbers below the water- 
line were found to be apparently sound, while those which had 
been exposed to the weather were in the last stages of decay. 
An old assay-button was found and also a part of an old drill. 
The steel point of the drill was about seven inches long, but the 
iron shaft had rusted away. 

A shaft-house was built, and a boiler, engine, and pumps 
installed, and test-pits were dug to prove the extent of the deposit. 
The shaft was sunk to a depth of about fifty feet, a'nd drifts were 
run northerly, westerly, and southerly from the bottom of the 
shaft by the eight miners employed by the company, extending 
ten, twelve, and twenty feet respectively. An ore-house was 
constructed near the shaft, and several buildings were erected 
for the rock-crusher, the smelter, the blower, the reverbera- 
tory furnace, the matte-grinder, and other machinery, and 
a brick chimney forty feet in height was built. A large 
reservoir was provided near the bottom of the hill back of these 
buildings, from which water was pumped into a tank upon the 
roof of the blower-house, roads were made through the woods, 
and a large amount of ore was accumulated on the dump. 

In the middle of the opposite page is shown the open cut 
into the old shaft, the shaft-house being over it. The upper view 
shows from left to right, the building about fifty feet in length 
containing the reverberatory furnace, the brick chimney, the mill 
for grinding matte and the shed about one hundred feet in length, 
with the ore and the shaft houses at the extreme right. The 
lower view shows the end of the shed, the smelting house with 
chimney, and the blower-house and water-tank, while in the fore- 



ground is the ore-dump and the building containing the rock- 
crusner, the boiler and engine house being in the rear of this 
building 1 . 

These views are reproduced from photographs made 
shortly after the works were completed. The foundations for the 
buildings were put in by Mr. Charles 11. Robbins, of this eity, 
who also built the brick chimney and the reverberatory furnace 
which was a large affair nearly fifty feet in length, at a cost of 
over $6,000. 

A cargo of Connellsvillc coke was bought in Philadelphia 
to be sent around to Newburyport, and brought up the river in 
barges for use in the smelter. This was all delivered with the 
exception of one barge which got adrift in the night and sank a 
short distance below the landing. 

During this time the management was struggling with 
the problem of extracting the nickel from the ore. Advertise- 
ments in engineering and mining journals for a man capable of 
treating nickel ore met with no response, and finally Mr. Jerome 
B. Melvin, who was the manager of the company, began to study 
the question himself and to experiment as to the best method of 
reducing the ore and extracting the nickel. 

At this time nickel was largely a foreign product, being 
found in Hungary, Silesia, Spain, and Norway, some ore being 
found in Pennsylvania, but the production of metallic nickel 
was mostly effected by methods which were kept secret. The 
treatises on metallurgy gave some technical assistance, but the 
Dracut ore proved refractory to most of the processes given in 
the books. 

Samples of the ore were analyzed in 1877 at the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology, and assays were made by 
S. P. Sharpies, of Boston, and Torrey & Eaton, of New York, 
assayers, three hundred pounds of the ore as it came from the 



mine, having been sent to Nashua and ground fine, and samples 
of the same submitted for assay and analysis. 

Two analyses at the Institute of Technology showed the 
following results: — 












48.I 1 










4 r >5 



10.5I ' 




A process of precipitation gave the best results, but it 
involved much detail, as appears from the following description 
of it given by Mr. Melvin. The ore was smelted into matte, 
ground fine, roasted in the reverberatory furnace, changing the 
sulphide into sulphate soluble in water, heated to boiling point 
in a cask precipitating the iron, then the solution was drawn off 
into a second cask and metallic iron added precipitating the 
metallic copper. The solution was drawn off into a third cask 
to which was added carbonate of soda precipitating the nickel 
as an oxide, and the cobalt was separated as an oxide from the 
solution drawn into a fourth cask. The nickel oxide was mixed 
with carbon and melted in a crucible producing metallic nickel. 

Some nickel was produced by this method, but not in 
commercial quantities. The property was conveyed to a cor- 
poration, the Dracut Nickel Mining Company, organized in 
1 88 1 under Maine laws, with a capital stock of $500,000, in 
250,000 shares of $2 par value, of which William E. Whitehead, 
of Tewksbury, was president, Abel T. Atherton, of Lowell, 



treasurer, and Jerome B. Melvin, of Lowell, secretary, as appears 
by the prospectus issued by the company. 

The market price of the stock is not known, but one 
certificate for ten thousand shares was recently found among 
the assets of an estate, which was given in payment for a lot of 
near-by land containing thirty acres on which there was an 
outcropping of this ore. Test pits were sunk in several places 
at some distance from the mine, which showed such outcroppings. 
One of these was on the Joseph Oilman farm, and another on 
the land of Luther W. Coburn, and the ore there found was very 
similar to that taken from the original mine. 

The management evidently had faith that the mine could 
be made a commercial success, for samples of the ore were taken 
to Chicago and even to London for examination, 'but hard times 
came on, the miners were discharged, and the mine was closed. 
The buildings and machinery were subsequently sold, and the 
plant which had cost about sixty thousand dollars was dismantled, 
some of the lumber and the bricks from the chimneys going 
into the construction of the buildings at Varnum's Landing. 

Filled with water, the old "mine-pit" has resumed its 
former appearance, trees have grown over the site of Lowell's 
only mining-camp, and the Dracut Mine is again a thing of 
the past. 

The Carlisle Copper Mine, located on land of Captain 
Frank Wilson, about one mile southwesterly from Carlisle 
Center, is a more recent discovery than the Dracut mine, and 
was first operated in 1847. 

One story of its discovery is, that a Carlisle boy employed 
in Boston where some specimens of copper ore were exhibited, 
while at home on vacation, found at the mouth of a wood- 
chuck's hole some mineral which was very similar in appearance 
to that which he had seen in Boston. He took it with him on his 
return to town and learned that it was copper ore. Certain 


people became interested in the discovery, and three shafts were 
sunk on the property to a depth of about twenty feet and drifts 
were run. The ore was brought to the surface by means of a 
common windlass, and was drawn to Boston in ox-teams. Some 
of it was bought by the Revere Copper Company. 

When gold was discovered in California in 1K49, the mine 
was abandoned, and it has not been worked since. 

Some of the men who were interested in the Newburyport 
and Dracut mining operations examined the Carlisle property 
and bonded it, but did nothing further than to pump out one of 
the shafts and test the extent of the deposit. 

Another early mining enterprise was the "Copperas Mine," 
as it was called, in Chelmsford. It was located on the southerly 
slope of Robin's hill, and is said to have been worked to a depth 
of over fifty feet. Very little can be learned about it, as the 
mine probably has not been worked for over one hundred years, 
and it is now filled with stones and other refuse matter. It is 
said to have yielded a dark, rotten rock of greenish hue, from 
which copperas was obtained which was locally used in the 
tanning and manufacture of leather. There were eight or ten 
tanning vats by the small brook on Bartlett street, in Chelms- 
ford, a larger number in Westford, and several vats in Acton, 
which created a demand for the product of this mine. The 
material taken out, if we may judge of it from the name given 
to the mine, was probably partially decomposed or weathered 
iron pyrites, which by oxidation and other natural processes 
produced copperas. I iy simple artificial imitative processes, 
this mineral would yield the ferrous sulphate commercially known 
as green vitriol or copperas. 

These mining developments in Dracut and Carlisle take 
on added interest in connection with the report on the Dracut 
mine made in 1877, by Mr; C. W. Kempton, a member of the 
American Institute of Mining Engineers. '. 



He said in part: — "The general nature of the rock con- 
taining- the ore, closely resembles that of the Copper Belt of 
New Hampshire and Vermont, which includes the mining 
districts of Ely and Corinth, in Vermont, and Lyman, in New 
Hampshire; the developments in which are becoming of great 
importance. I regard the formation in which these ores occur 
as essentially the same as that of the ahove mentioned Copper 
Belt. The ore is sulphide of iron, called Pyrrhotite, carrying 
Nickel and also some Cobalt." 

The Dracut ore contains some copper according to the 
above analysis submitted by Air. Melvin, and outcroppings of 
the ore have been found in a southeasterly direction about 
sixty rods from the mine, another outcropping about one-half 
mile distant northwesterly on land of Joseph Gilman, and the 
same formation has been found still further to. the east. It is 
said that prior to the raising of the waters of the Merrimack 
by the dam at Lawrence, a rich vein of copper ore was found in 
the bank of the river. It is now permanently overflowed and 
the location is not known, but it may be the ore referred to in 
divers agreements made in 1782 between the Varnums, Kendall 
Parker and others, concerning the "Gold, Silver, Lead and 
Copper oar Alines and Minerals in that part of Higginson's 
Farm that Lyeth in Methuen Down to the Channel of Merrimack 

The ore at Carlisle outcrops on a hill near the mine, and 
is also to be found in places at some distance from it, .while 
Robin's hill in Chelmsford bears every indication of containing 
this pyrrhotite ore. An analysis of the Carlisle ore was made 
several years ago by a Boston assayer whose report cannot now 
be found, but it showed a much larger percentage of copper than 
the ore from the Dracut mine. In view of Mr. Kempton's above 
report the question arises whether these ores occurring, as he 
says, in a formation ''essentially the same as that of the Vermont 
Copper Belt," are merely the outcroppings of a mineral formation 


extending under this section of the Merrimack valley, and perhaps 
of large extent. 

The specimens of ore from these mines in our cabinet 
certainly appear as rich as the exhibits from many western mines, 
and perhaps the history of the mines whence they came may 
enable us to consider proposed western mining investments more 

The neighboring towns of Billerica, Tewksbury and 
Tyngsborough appear to have been free from any attempts at 
mining, the only reference to the subject being found in llazen's 
History of Billerica, (1883), concerning "The Mineral Com- 
pany." "One reason why Fox Hill was so long 'common' may 
be found in the record, (Book of Grants, Vol. I, (Reverse) 
page 29,) which is probably of date 1659. 'The Mineral com- 
pany are granted all such mines as shall be by them or their 
Asignes found in the sircumfirance of one hundred acors of land 
on fox hill, the south eande thereof, the Hill being devided ; as 
also they have free Liberty for wood and Timber for theare 
use as there need shall require, to improve about the said mine 
untill it doe apear they doe find metell and no Longer.' Traditions 
or suspicions of mineral wealth to be found in this locality have 
always existed; but it has never been developed and is probably 
a myth." 

The Chelmsford limestone quarries before referred to are 
worthy of mention in this connection, for the caves and tunnels 
from which the limestone was removed warrant treatment of the 
subject as a mining enterprise of olden days. 

Massachusetts possesses large deposits of limestone in the 
western portion of the state, but many small deposits of good 
quality have been found in this vicinity. The lime used in early 
colonial building was made from sea-shells, and being the car- 
bonate of lime was free from impurities. In 1697 limestone was 
discovered at Newbury by Ensign James Noyes, and caused great 


excitement. As many as thirty teams in a flay came to carry it 

away, until a town meeting was called to prevent the spoliation, 

and it was stopped by the sheriff. This may have been the first 

attempt in this country at conservation of our natural resources. 

The Bolton limestone was discovered about 1736, but it is 

™ not known when limestone was first found in Chelmsford. The 

h i 

lichen covered walls of schist and gneiss, the trees which have 

grown in the partially filled excavations, and the general appear- 
ance of the surroundings would indicate that the Chelmsford 
deposits were worked at as early a date as those at Bolton. It 
is said that the "pigs" of limerock turned up by the plow in the 
cultivation of the land, led to the discovery of these deposits in 
Chelmsford. The principal quarries were on the westerly slope 
of Robin's hill and on the other side of the valley of Beaver 
brook westerly of the Littleton road. The caves and grottoes 
from which the limestone was taken in the latter locality and the 
ruins of the old limekilns are still objects of interest. It took 
a week or ten days to burn a kiln of lime, and required much 
skill and care. The making of lime added much to the business 
of the town, as the kilns used a large amount of fuel, and the 
coopers were kept busy making casks and barrels for the trans- 
portation of the lime. In Allen's History of Chelmsford, (1820), 
it is said that "in the southwest part of the town, is a bed of 
limestone, of an excellent quality, extending two miles northeast. 
It has five kilns upon it, and from which are annually drawn, 
about a thousand* hogsheads, which may be estimated at $5 
f per hogshead." 

Professor Edward Hitchcock, in his Geology of Massa- 
chusetts written in 1839, groups the beds of limestone in Acton, 
Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Chelmsford, and Littleton together, 
because of their similar mineral characteristics, and describes them 
as white crystalline limestones, highly magnesian, and almost 
destitute of stratification, placed between highly inclined strata 
of gneiss. He even classes them as dolomite, and believes them 


to be among the oldest on the globe. He says the rock is usually 
very much mixed with foreign minerals, such as scapolite, serpen- 
tine, compact feldspar, etc., and that none of the beds are of any 
great extent in the direction of their strata, nor is their width 
more than a few yards in any case. 

He gives the following analysis of the Chelmsford lime- 
stone : — 

Carbonate of Lime 

5 r >-52 

Carbonate of Magnesia 


Peroxide of Iron 


Silica, Alumina, etc., 



He states the specific gravity as 2.85, and the per cent of 
quicklime 31.65. On account of the large percentage of magnesia, 
the mortar made with this lime was harder and whiter than that 
made from lime which was purer. It was of good quality and 
was used in the construction of many buildings in Chelmsford 
and early Lowell. It is said that the mortar made with it is so 
strong and clings so tenaciously, that bricks laid in it are not 
worth cleaning. A ceiling made with this lime recently fell to 
the iloor in an old Chelmsford house without fracture. The 
woods in the vicinity of the kilns were in time so cut off as to 
greatly increase the cost of burning the lime, and the low priced 
lime from Thomaston, Maine, was brought up the Middlesex 
canal and undersold the Chelmsford product in its home market. 
Mr. Henry S. Perham, who was engaged in writing the history 
of Chelmsford at the time of his decease, states in the History 
of Middlesex County, that David Perham, who was his grand- 
father, operated the largest limekiln in Chelmsford and continued 
the business until 1832. The manufacture of lime at Bolton was 
carried on as late as 1861. 

S I'. 



Although most of these limestone deposits have been ex- 
hausted and none of the quarries have been worked for many 
years, they are well worth visiting to study the geological story 
they so plainly reveal and to acquire a fuller realization of the 
value of these deposits to the colonists. Lime was a very im- 
portant article in their day when the only source of supply was 
in the shells to be found on the seashore, and their search for 
limestone' was exceedingly thorough. Professor George II. 
Barton says that in all his geological explorations and field-work 
in eastern Massachusetts, he has never found a limestone deposit 
of any size which had not been worked in former days. 

These old quarries are rich in the variety of minerals 
which they contain. At Bolton may be found actinolite, allanite, 
apatite, boltonite, calcite, chondrodite, petalite, phlogopite, pyrox- 
ene, sahlite, scapolite, spinel, and titanite, and other rarer 
minerals. Many of these may be found in Chelmsford which 
also possesses a mineral of its own, a variety of wernerite called 
chelmsfordite, and amianthus is also found there. Some 
geologists think they have found in the Chelmsford limestone 
the fossil of the earliest form of life, the eozoon canadense, 
while others vigorously oppose this view, and declare the sup- 
posed fossil to be nothing but a minute discoloration in the stone. 
Whatever it may be, it is clearly perceptible as a small green 
speck or stain imbedded in the white limestone. 

The Bolton limestone was worked by open quarrying, and 
the high wall of dolomite which rises from the pool of opalescent 
water which fills the lower workings of one of these quarries, 
gives a clear idea of the depth and extent of the deposit. The 
brilliant white of this magnesian limestone, its crystals sparkling 
in the sunlight, is softened by the delicate lilac shades of the 
masses of scapolite and the varied colors of the containing 
rocks, while Nature has fittingly framed this beautiful picture 
in stone with her tangled greenery of vines and shrubs and the 
trees which crown the hill above it. , 



As we have followed in this brief hour the story of these 
early mining operations, we have perhaps realized something of 
the labor expended by the colonists in their searcli for iron and 
the mineral products of the land, and something also of the 
patience and ingenuity with which they wrought them for their 
use. They met with an ephemeral success commensurate with 
their needs, but while the story of these mines may be worth 
preserving, the fact remains that today the practical miner passes 
New England by as a region which can yield no return for his 
labor, and the compiler of mining statistics avers without fear 
of contradiction that the production of New England mines has 
"a humorous rather than a commercial interest." 



of the 

Lowell Historical Society 

Organized, December 21, 1868 
Incorporated, May 21, 1902 

Vol. i No. 3 


" ' Tis greatly ivise to talk with our past hours" — Young 





THE Lowell Historical Society herewith 
presents Part 3 completing Volume 1 of 
its "Contributions", (new series), and will be 
pleased to receive in exchange such publi- 
cations as may be of value for its library. 



17 Columbia St. , Lowell, Mass. 

A Trial in the Days of Witchcraft- By Francis N. Chase. 
Read December 9, 1908. 

It would be a hard matter to tell how far back in the 
history of the world we would need to go to get the story of 
witchcraft. We find the old Levitical laws of the Hebrews severe 
in the penalties against such a crime. And in all nations it ha^ 
appeared in some form. In England, particularly about the 
middle of the 17th century, there were many notable trials and 
executions of witches. Those who seek for a fling at New Eng- 
land are fond of telling that they burned witches at Salem, but 
the records do not show that any were ever burned there while 
in England and Scotland many were put to death. One has 
but to read of the infamous career of Matthew Hopkins, who 
styled himself "Witch-finder-general," who in the years 1645- 
1646 in certain counties of England committed the most horrible 
atrocities, to realize that the people of Salem were not the only 
ones to yield to a mad delusion, for the number of executions 
in England was much greater than here, and the methods far 
more cruel and revolting. 

To get at the causes leading up to the time of the Salem 
Witchcraft, we must consider the people and their times. It 
is not right to class them as ignorant, cruel people. I feel 
strongly that the Salem authorities did rightly in declining the 
group offered them by the gentleman who has done so much 
in a philanthropic way for our city. 

The spirit of the religion of the time is not to be 
represented as a ravening beast, and to put into enduring bronze 
that which would brand our forefathers as bloodthirsty creatures 
is not to be sanctioned, however valuable and artistic the gift. 

They were God-fearing men, brought up in a severe 
school. It is perhaps well that their austerity has been toned 
down, but their rugged faith and their adherence to what they 


felt was right, has made our nation a better, safer, more endur- 
ing one than would have come from any other influence. 

They stood for something very definite even if it ted them 
to use extreme measures with those who did not agree with them. 
It was an age when belief in the supernatural was strong, 
and the whole theory of witehcraft was based on the belief in 
a very personal Devil who was ever busy in his working against 
mankind. The idea was that Satan did not work directly but 
through human intermediaries, that is witches. 

One factor in the Salem episode was a personal one. 
The Church was unfortunate in having for its pastor the Rev. 
Samuel Parris, a man with a most overweening idea of his own 
importance and the dignity and authority of his office. Had 
he been a wise man of good sense and discretion, the country 
might have been spared the infliction and disgrace that soon 
came to it. 

We find that at the breaking out of the excitement he 
had just been engaged in a most unseemly conflict with the 
officials of his church, and that his dealings with his people, in 
his desire to glorify himself, he magnified trilling matters and 
made public affairs that could far better have been settled in 

The story of the beginning of the excitement is an old 
one. You will recall that this Rev. Mr. Parris had in his house- 
hold some slaves brought from the West Indies where he had 
lived, a man, named John Indian, and a woman named Tituba. 
During the winter of 1691-92, a circle of young girls used to 
meet at his house for instruction in palmistry, fortune telling 
and necromancy generally, the slaves being their instructors. 
They soon became quite expert and performed many strange 
puzzling tricks. Their names are given as follows, and later on 
we shall see more of them : Elizabeth Parris, a daughter of the 
pastor, (who seems very soon to have drawn her away from the 

scene); Abigail Williams, a niece; Ann Putnam, one of the 



leaders; Mary Walcot ; Mercy Lewis, another leading spirit in 
the trouble; Elizabeth Hubbard; Susanna Sheldon; Mary War- 
ren and Sarah Churchill. Some of them were of good families, 
others were servant girls, and they ranged in age from eleven 
to twenty years. Beside the girls there were three women, Mrs. 
Ann Putnam, Mrs. Pope and a Mrs. Bibber who were active. 

It is hard to decide what led them to become such merci- 
less impostors, hounding innocent people to death with apparently 
no compunctions of conscience but rather a savage pleasure at 
what they could accomplish. 

They seemed to have exhibited wonderful shrewdness 
and cunning, too much to have us think they were self-deluded. 
And it seems impossible they could have deliberately gone about 
what they did in cold blood. Undoubtedly the notoriety that 
came to them was a stimulant, and the opportunity to gratify 
what seems a most cruel malignity toward those who had 
offended them in any way, was eagerly grasped. 

After some displays of peculiar tricks they became adepts 
in most extraordinary feats, strange contortions, spasms and the 

Their specialty seems to have been fits, and these they 
made use of with great frequency and effect. Dr. Griggs, the 
local physician, was called in and being baffled, finally declared 
they were bewitched, a diagnosis that was quite convenient in 
those days. Of course the excitement became great and the 
"afflicted girls" were immediately objects of great interest and 
sympathy, people crowding to see them. Then would have been 
the good time for some vigorous doses of "corporal suasion," 
but instead Mr. Parris, who seems to have seen an opportunity 
to show himself, catered to the witch idea, called a council of 
clergymen, and instituted proceedings to fight the Devil by 
getting rid of the witches. As the girls were bewitched it was 
of course necessary to find who had bewitched them, and the 
girls at last declared they were victims of Sarah Good, Sarah 


Osborne and Tituba. Air. Parris now shows up strong ex- 
hibiting a most implacable determination, approaching malice, 
in driving those accused to their doom. The magistrates were 
John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, who seem to have presided 

at most of the trials. Corwin, while approving the course of 
things, appears more as a passive participant. On the other 
hand it is hard to understand the conduct of Hathorne who 
seems never to have been the judge, but rather a most un- 
scrupulous and incredibly cruel and unfair prosecutor, de- 
termined to force anyone accused to conviction at any eost, 
even to perverting testimony. Of the three persons first accused, 
Tituba confessed herself a witch, while the others denied. 
That brings out one strange outcome of the time, that some 
fifty-five accused persons confessed themselves as guilty which 
must have done much to strengthen the delusion. 

The excitement grew. The "afflicted girls" were in their 
element and were given full sway. No one, however well con- 
nected, seems for a time to have been secure. If the girls but 
had their fits, grew pale or red, as they seem to have been able 
to do at will, their accusations were accepted without question 
no matter how preposterous and evidently false. Their enmity 
was a dangerous matter. 

The stories of the trials of those who were accused are 
strangely interesting, the "afflicted girls" showing almost devil- 
ish shrewdness and malice. There is a hint of suspicion that 
they were coached by some older persons. Some people of the 
time with cooler heads did not fall in with the delusion, but were 
for a while either ignored or themselves accused and tried. 

The stories of Martha Corey and her husband, of Rebecca 
Nurse, Elizabeth How, Rev. George Burroughs and the others, 
all have their peculiar interest. 

But my errand is to tell of one trial, that of Susanna 
Martin of Amesbury, an ancestress of mine, and also of Judge 


Hadley.* She is described as a short active woman wearing a 
hood and scarf, plump and of good figure. Flad been a widow 
for six or seven years when arrested April 30, 1692. She was 
very neat, and that very neatness was used as evidence against 
her. She seems to have been a woman of much decision of 
character and ready speech. In fact, from some court records, 
I am afraid she was too ready with her tongue and that she 
was not entirely the gentle soul whom Whittier, in his poem of 
Mabel Martin, represents as poring over her Bible in Salem 
jail. In fact we find that some twenty-three years before, she 
was bound over by the court for witchcraft "but escaped at 
that time." From her case and others at the time, T think we 
can see one motive for charging a person with the crime. If 
a woman was too sharp with her tongue, or too smart in hei# 
dealings with people, or in any way rendered herself persona 
non grata, it was a very convenient way of getting rid of her, 
or at least getting back at her, to accuse her of witchcraft, an 
accusation which the ready credulity of the time was prompt to 

One person at the time gave as a reason why another 
had been so accused, that she had more wit than her neighbor, 
and that, as her answers in her trial show, would seem to fit 
Susanna Martin, for she evidently could hold her own with any 
sort of fair show. 

Very full notes were kept of the trials and testimony, 
quite largely the w r ork of Rev. Air. Parris, and some extracts 

George Martin married Susanna North; Jane Martin married 
Samuel Hadley, Sr. ; Samuel Hadley, Jr. married Dorothy Colby; 
Ruth Hadley married Benjamin Davis; Gartruth Davis married 
Sally Aver; Sally Adams Gile married Samuel Chase; Charles 
Chauncy Chase married Martha Smith — Francis Xelson 


from the report of Susanna Martin's trial will, I feel sure, interest 
and give you an idea of what the evidence was worth. Surely 
you will agree with Esek Harden in Whittier's poem, "I'd not 
condemn on Indian dog on word of one of them." 

You will, too, see how the "afflicted girls" acted their 
parts, and wonder that they could have been believed for a 

(From Merrill's History of Ameshury and Merrimack) 
Trial of Susanna Martin for Witchcraft 
At time of trial had heen a widow for six or seven years. 
Her children were all of age and the management of the farm 
fell upon her at the time when woman's rights were hut little 
• The complaint came from Salem. ' 


"To the Marshall of the County of Essex or his Lawful 
Deputies or to the Constable of Amesbnry. 

You are in their Majes ts names hereby required forthwith 
or as soon as may be to apprehend and bring (before vs) 
Susannna Mertin of Ameshury in y e county of Essex Widdow 
at y e house of L l Nathaniel Ingersalls in Salem village in order 
to her examination Relating to high suspicion of sundry acts of 
Witchcraft donne or committed by her upon y e Bodys of Mary 
Walcot, Abigal Williams, Ann Putnam and Mercy Lewis of 
Salem Village or farms whereby great hurt and damage hath 
been donne to y e bodys of said persons according to comrr* of 
Capt. Jonathan Walcot and Serg. Thomas Putnam in behalf of 
their Majes ts this day exhibited before us for themselves and 
also for several of theire neighbors and here you are not to fail 
at your peril. 

Dated Salem Aprill 30th, 1692. 

John Hathorn ) 

_ } Assistants. 

Jonathan Cor win ) 


according to this Warrant I have apprehended Susanna 
Martin Widdow of Amesbury and have brong or caused her to 
be brought to the place appointed for her examination p r Ale 

Salem village this 2d May 1692. 

Orlando Bagley 

Const, of Amesbury." 

OYER & TERMINER, June 27, 1692. 

Witnesses: John Pressy and wife and John Kimball and 
wife of Amesbury, John Allen, Barnard Peach, Jos. Ringg, 
William Brown, Jarvis Ringg and Alary, wife of Nathaniel 
Whitcher, of Salisbury, James Freeze, Joseph Knight, John 
Atkinson, wife and son, of Newbury. 

Joseph Lankester summoned the Amesbury witnesses and 
Joseph Eaton those from Salisbury. 

PRELIMINARY TRIAL, June 26th, 1692. 

For the crime of witchcraft and socery, Susanna Martin 
pled not guilty. 

"As soon as she came in Marcy had fits. 

Magistrate. Do you know this woman? 
Abigal Williams saith it is goody Martin, she hath hurt me often. 
Others by fits were hindered from speaking. 
Eliza Hubbard said she hath not been hurt by her. 
John Indian said he had not been hurt. 
Marcy Lewis pointed to her and fell into a little fit. 
Ann Putnam threw her glove in a fit at her. 
Mag. What ! Do you laugh at it ? 
Martin. Well I may at such folly. 
Mag. Is this folly, the hurt of persons? 
Mart. 1 never hurt man or woman or child. 
Marcy. Marcy Lewis cried out she hath hurt me a great nTany 
times & pulls me down. 

Then Martin laughed again. 
Mag. Pray what ails all these people ? 
Martin. I don't know. 
Mag, But what do you think ails them ? 
Martin. I don't desire to spend ray judgement upon it. 
Mag, Don't you think they are bewitched ? 
Martin. No. I don't think they are. 
Mag. Tell us your thought about them then. 
Martin. No. My thoughts are my own when tliey are in, but 
when they are out they are anothcrs. Their master — 


Mag. Their master; who do you think is their master? 

Martin. Jf they deal in the black art, you may know as well as I. 

Mag. Well what have you dune towards this"" 

Martin. Nothing- at all. 

Mag. Why, 'tis your appearance. 

Martin. Well, I can't help it. 

May,. Is it not your master? How conies your appearance to 

hurt them ? 
Martin. How do I know? fie that appeared in the shape of 

Samuel may appear in anyone's shape. 

But the afflicted falling into fits when she did hut look 
upon them, she was asked the reason of it, and answered she 
could not tell, it may he the devil bore her more malice than 

So she was committed, and being brought to her tryal 
the following Witnesses appeared to support the Charge of 
Witchcraft against her, besides the Accusation of the Afflicted. 

John Allen of Salisbury testified, that he refusing, because 
of the weakness of his oxen, to cart some staves at the request 
of this Martin, she was displeased at it, and said, it had been as 
good that he had, for his oxen should never do him much more 
service. Whereupon this deponent said, Dost thou threaten me, 
thou old witch? Til throw thee into the brook; which to avoid 
she Hew over the bridge, and escaped. But as he was going 
home, one of his oxen tired, so that he was forced to unyoke 
him that he might get home. Tie then put his oxen, with many 
more, upon Salishury-heach, where cattle used to get flesh. In 
a few days, all the oxen upon the beach were found by their 
tracks to have run into the mouth of Merrrimack River, and not 
returned ; but the next day they were found come ashore upon 
Plum Island. They that sought them used all imaginable gentle- 
ness, but they would run away with a violence that seemed 
wholly diabolical, till they came near the Mouth of Merrimack- 
river when they ran right into the sea, swimming as far as they 
could he seen. One of them then swam hack again, with a 
swiftness amazing to the beholder, who stood ready to receive 
him, and help up his tired carcass; but the beast ran furiously 
up into the island, and from thence through the marshes, up into 
Newbury-town, and so up into the woods ; and after a while he 
was found near Amesbury. So, that of fourteen good oxen, 
there was only this saved : the rest were all cast up, some in one 
place, some in another, drowned. 

John Atkinson testified, that he exchanged a cow with a 
son of Susanna Martin, whereat she muttered, and was unwilling 
he should have it. Going to receive this cow, though he ham- 
stringed her, and haltered her, she of a tame creature grew so 
mad, that they could scarce get her along. She broke all the 


ropes that were fastened unto her; and though she was tied fast 
unto a tree, yet she made her escape, and gave them such farther 
trouble as they could ascribe to no cause but witchcraft. 

Bernard Pcache testified, that being in bed, on a Lord's 
day nighty he heard a scrabbling at the window, whereat he then 
saw Susanna Martin come in, and jump down upon the floor. 
She took hold of the deponent's feet, and drawing his body up 
into a heap, she lay upon him near two hours; in all which time 
he could neither speak nor stir. At length, when he could begin 
to move, he laid hold on her hand, and pulling it up to his mouth, 
he hit three of her finders, as he judged, to the bone; whereupon 
she went from the chamber down stairs, out at the door. This 
deponent then called upon the people of the house to advise them 
of what passed; and he himself followed her. The people saw 
her not; but there being a bucket at the left hand of the door, 
there was a drop of blood on it, and several more drops upon the 
snow, newly fallen abroad. There was likewise the print of her 
two feet just without the threshold ; but no more sign of any 
footing further off. 

At another time this deponent was desired by the prisoner 
to come to husking of corn, at her house; and she said, "If he 
did not come, it were better than he did." He went not ; but the 
night following, Susanna Martin, as he judged, and another, 
came towards him. One of them said, "Here he is;" but lie, 
having quarterstaff, made a blow at them, and the roof of the 
barn broke his blow ; but following them to the window, he 
made another blow at them, and struck them down ; yet they got 
up, and got out, and he saw no more of them. About this time, 
there was a rumor about town that Martin had a broken head; 
but the deponent could say nothing to that. The said Peache also 
testified, the bewitching of cattle to death, upon Martin dis- 

Robert Downer testified, that this prisoner being some 
years ago prosecuted at court for a witch, he then said unto her, 
"he believed she was a witch." Whereat she being dissatisfied, 
said, "that some she-devil would shortly fetch him away;" which 
words were heard by others, as well as himself. The night 
following, as he lay in his bed, there came in at the window the 
likeness of a cat, which flew upon him and took fast hold of his 
throat, lay on him a considerable time, and almost killed him ; 
at length he remembered what Susanna Martin had threatened 
the day before, and with much striving he cried out, "Avoid, 
thou she-devil ; in the name of God the Father, the Son and the 
Holy Ghost, avoid;" whereupon it left him, leaped on the floor, 
and flew out at the window. I 


And there, also came in several testimonies that before 
even Downer spoke a word of this accident, Susanna -Martin and 
her family had related how this Downer had been handled. 

John Kimball testified that Susanna Martin, upon a cause- 
less disgust had threatened him about a certain cow' of his, that 
she should never do him an)' more good, and it came to pass 
accordingly, for soon after the cow was found stark dead on the 
dry ground, without any distemper to be discerned upon her; 
upon which he was followed with a strange death upon more of 
his cattle, whereof he lost in one spring to the valve of £30. 
But the said John Kimball had furthur testimony to give in 
against the prisoner, which was truly admirable. Being desirous 
to furnish himself with a dog, he applied himself to buy one of 
this Martin, who had a bitch with whelps at her house; but >he 
not letting him have his choice, he said he would supply himself 
then at one Balzdel's. Having marked a pupy which he liked 
at Blazdel's, he met George Martin, the husband of the prisoner, 
going by, who asked whether he would not have one of his 
wife's puppies, and he answered no. The same day one Edmund 
Eliot, being at Martin's house, heard George Martin relate 
where this Kemball had been and what he had said, whereupon 
Susanna Martin replied, "If I live I'll give him puppies enough." 
Within a few days after this, Kemball coming out of the woods, 
there arose a little black cloud in the northwest and Kemball 
immediately felt a force upon him which made him not able 
to avoid running upon the stumps of trees that were before him, 
although he had a broad plain cart-way before him; but though 
he. had his axe on his shoulder to endanger him in his falls, he 
could not forbear going out of his way to tumble over them. 
When he came below the Meeting-house there appeared to him 
a little thing like a puppy, of a darkins color, and it shot back- 
wards and forwards between his legs. He had the courage to 
use all possible endeavors to cut it with his axe, but he could not 
hit it; the puppy gave a jump from him, and went, as to him it 
seemed, into the ground. Going a little further, there appeared 
unto him a black puppy, somewhat bigger than the first, but as 
black as a coal. Its motions were quicker than those of his axe. 
It flew at his belly, and at his throat, so over his shoulders one 
way, and then over his shoulders another way. His heart began 
to fail him. and he thought the dog would have tore his throat 
out ; but he recovered himself, and called upon God in his dis- 
tress, and naming the name of Jesus Christ, it vanished away at 
once. The deponent spoke not one word of these accidents for 
fear of affrighting his wife. But the next morning, Edmund 
Eliot going into Martin's house, this woman asked him where 
Kemball was. He replied. "At home, a-bed, for ought he knew" 
she returned, "They say he was frightened last night." Eliot 


asked where she heard of it, for he had heard nothing of it. 
She rejoined, "About town ;" although Kimball had mentioned 
the matter to no creature living. 

William Brown testified, that i leaven having blessed him 
with a most pious and prudent wife, this wife of his one day met 
with Susanna Martin; but when she approached just unto her, 
Martin vanished out of sight, and left her extremely affrighted. 
After which time the said Martin often appeared unto her, giving 
her no little tronhle ; and when she did cume, she was visited with 
birds, that sorely pecked and pricked her ; and sometimes a 
bunch like a pullet's t<^ would rise on her throat, ready to 
choke her, till she cried out "Witch you shan't choke me!'' 
While this good woman was in this extremity, the church 
appointed a day of prayer on her behalf; whereupon the trouble 
ceased; she saw not Martin as formerly; and the church instead 
of their fast, gave thanks for her deliverance. But a considerable 
while after, she being summoned to give in some evidence at 
the court against this Martin, quickly this Martin came behind 
her, while she was milking her cow, and said unto her, "For thy 
defaming me at court, I'll make thee the miserablest creature in 
the world." Soon after which she fell into a strange kind of 
distemper, and became horribly frantic, and uncapable on any 
reasonable action; the physicians declaring that her distemper 
was preternatural, and that some devil had certainly bewitched 
her ; and in that condition she now remained. 

Sarah Atkinson testified, that Susanna Martin came from 
Amesbury, to their house at Newbury, in an extraordinary sea- 
son, when it was not fit for anyone to travel. She came all that 
long way on foot. She bragged and showed how dry she was ; 
nor could it be perceived that so much as the soles of her shoes 
were wet. Atkinson was amazed at it, and professed that she 
should herself have been wet up to her knees, if she had come 
so far; but Martin replied "she scorned to be drabbled." It was 
noted that this testimony, upon her trial, cast her into a very 
singular confusion. 

John Pressy testified, that being one evening very un- 
accountably bewildered near a field of Martin, and several' times 
as one under enchantment, returning to the place he had left, 
at length he saw a marvelous light, about the bigness of an half 
bushel, near two rods out of the way. He went and struck at 
it with a stick, and laid it on with all his might. He gave it 
near forty blows, and felt it a palpable substance. But going 
from it his heels were struck up, and he was laid with his back 
'on the ground ; he sliding as he though into a pit ; from whence 
he recovered by taking hold on a bush ; although afterwards he 
could find no such pit in the place. Having after liis recovery 
gone five or six rods, he saw Susanna Martin standbier on his 


left hand, as the light had done before; but they exchanged no 
words with one another. He could scarce find his house in his 
return; but at length got home extremely affrighted. The next 
day it was upon inquiry understood, that Martin was in a 
miserable condition, by pains and hurts that were Upon her. 

It was further testified by this deponent, that after he had 
given in some evidence against Susanna Martin many years ago, 
she gave him foul words about it, and said "lie should never 
prosper; and more particularly that he should never have more 
than two cows; that though he were ever so likely to have more, 
yet he should never have them ;" and that, from that very day 
to this namely for twenty years together, he could never exceed 
that number, but some strange thing or other still prevented 
his having any more. 

Jarvis Ring testified, that about seven years ago he was 
oftentimes grievously oppressed in the night, but saw not what 
troubled him, until at length he, lying perfectly awake, plainly 
saw Susanna Martin approach him ; she came to him. and 
forcible bit him by the finger; so that the print of the bite is 
now, so long after, to be seen upon him. 

But besides all these evidence, there was a most wonderful 
account of one Joseph Ring produced on this occasion. This 
man has been strangely carried about, by daemons, from one 
witch-meeting to another, for near two years together; and for 
one-quarter of this time they made him and kept him dumb, 
though he is now again able to speak. 

On such evidence and by such a tribunal she was con- 
victed, the court meeting June 29, and sentenced, and with Sarah 
Good, Sarah Wildes, Elizabeth How and Rebecca Nurse was 
hung on Witch Hill, Salem, July 19, 1692. 

Their bodies were, without ceremony, rudely put into a 
common grave. In one or two cases relatives braved the popu- 
lar odium and at night recovered the bodies and buried them 
properly, the others evidently remained in their dishonored 

The delusion continued a few months, others being 
sacrificed, the last execution being on Sept. 22, 1692, and then 
the people apparently awoke. The ''afflicted girls" grew too bold 
and over-did things. For one thing they accused the wife of 
Judge Corwin himself, and then what brought matters more 
decidedly to a head, they charged the wife of Rev. Mr. Hall of 



Beverly with Witchcraft. He had been active in the prosecutions, 

but his wife was so far removed from any suspicion that the 
charge was doubted and perhaps the reverend gentleman him- 
self saw things in a different light when it came home to him 
and his. 

What finally brought matters to an end was largely the 
vigorous action of some people in Andover, who, when the ex- 
citement was carried there, promptly entered suits for slander 
against the accusers. 

Mr. Parris and a few others tried ineffectually to fan the 
dying embers into another blaze of excitement but without avail. 
Fie himself was soon again in trouble with his church people 
who finally got rid of him and his later career was that of a 
discredited failure. 

The "afflicted girls" who had enjoyed to the full their 
wicked notoriety, in almost every case proved of profligate 

And so ended one of the strangest episodes of our history. 
Just what actuated the participants it would be hard to say. 
We must believe that most of them, leaving out the accusing 
girls, were honest in their belief that they were doing God's 
service in what they considered fighting Satan in their midst. 
The clergy to a considerable degree (though not a majority) 
were caught in the delusion. The doctors too did their share in 
helping it along. 

I have referred to Whittier's poem. We all love him as 
our New England poet. As a historian he would hardly be 
called an authority. We have read the seemingly endless 
discussions about Floyd Ireson and Barbara Freitchie. In re- 
gard to the poem of Mabel Martin, it may be rather ungracious 
to say that instead of her marrying the hero of the poem after 
her witch mother had been hung, the unsentimental records- 
show that they were married some sixteen years before. 

However the poem is a beautiful one. 

List of Papers read before the Society in 1908. 

"The Snow-Shoe Scouts." George Waldo Browne. Read 
February 12, 1908. 

"Early Mining Operations near Lowell." Alfred P. 
Sawyer, Esq. Read May 13, 1908. 

"Genealogical Research." James F. Savage, Esq. Read 
October 14, 1908. 

"A Trial in the Days of Witchcraft." Francis N. Chase. 
Read December 9, 1908. . 

The Prizes offered by the Lowell Historical Society to the 
Graduating Class of the Lowell High School, for the best essays 
on "The Makers of Lowell," were awarded as follows: — 

First Prize, $10 in gold, to Miss Lillian McCoy Smith. 

Second Prize, $5 in gold, to Miss Albertine Bernier. 


Annual Report of the Executive Committee for 1908- 1909. 
Prepared and Read by Solon \V. Stevens, President, 

February 10, 1909. 

There is but very little to express in the annual report 
of the Executive Committee for the year now coming- to its close, 
save the statement of the proceedings at our stated meetings 
and brief obituary notices of those of our membership who 
have passed away since our last annual meeting. 

Quietly and unobtrusively we have gathered together 
from time to time, prompted by a desire to fulfil the purpose for 
which this Society was formed by way of encouraging the study 
of local history, and of perpetuating and publishing whatever 
is truthful and reliable either in tradition or of record and is of 
special interest in the history of Lowell and adjacent towns. 
As indicative of the motives and the spirit which guide us in 
our efforts as a society, the following quotation from a letter 
written by Ruskin in 1871 will serve as an illustration. 

"If any journal would limit itself to statements of well 
sifted fact, making itself not a 'news' paper, but an 'olds' paper, 
and giving its statements tested and true, like old wine, as 
soon as things could be known accurately ; choosing also of the 
many things that might be known, those which it was most 
vital to know, and summing them up in few words of pure 
English, I cannot say whether it would ever pay to sell it ; but 
I am sure it would pay well to read it, and to read no other." 

On the evening of February 12th, 1908, we were favored 
with a very interesting paper by George Waldo Browne, Esq., 
of Manchester, N. H., chairman of the Publication Committee 
of the Manchester Historical Society, on ''The Snow-Shoe 
Scouts," with sketches of the men who made up the company. 

On May 13th, 1908, an exceedingly interesting paper on 
"Early Mining Operations near Lowell" was read by Alfred P. 
Sawyer, Esq., Corresponding Secretary of our Society. After 
the reading and explanation of several specimens by the author, 



the subject was discussed by Mr. Jerome B. Melvin, Mr. William 
B. Goodwin, Mr. James Bayles, Mr. George B. Coburn, Judge 
Hadley, and others. 

On October 14th, 1908, we listened to an address on 
"Genealogical Research" by James F. Savage, Esq., Clerk- of the 
Police Court of Lowell. The subject was treated in an interest- 
ing and scholarly manner and illustrated by the exhibition of 
several unique contrivances used by our ancestors. 

During the same evening the Hon. Samuel P. Hadley 
spoke on the subject of his recent and former visits to Europe. 

Judge White of the Superior Court of Massachusetts 
was present as a guest at this meeting, and by request spoke of 
the work of the Old Colony Historical Society of Taunton, 
.Massachusetts, of which he is a member. 

On December 9th, 1908, a very interesting paper was read 
by Mr. Francis N. Chase, cashier of the Old Lowell National 
Bank, of this city, on "A Trial in the Days of Witchcraft." 

Remarks were made by the Hun. Samuel P. Hadley, 
who, with Mr. Chase, claims descent from Susanna Martin, one 
of the victims of this delusion in 1692, and by Gen. Phillip Reade 
who was introduced as a descendent of Rebecca Nurse, another 
victim of the witchcraft delusion of that year, and who spoke 
of the waves of superstition that had swept over England and 
this country, culminating in these trials and persecutions for 
witchcraft and of similar superstitions existing today in the 

Mr. P. Hildreth Parker presented the Society with an 
additional list of inscriptions from old gravestones, and spoke 
of his attendance at a recent meeting of the Bay State Historical 
League. At this meeting also the attention of the Society was 
called by Alfred P. Sawyer, Esq., to the portraits of the Board 
of Directors of the Prescott National Bank which have lately been 
given to the society and gave a brief account of each of them 
and their terms of office. 

ANNUAL REPORT, I908-I909 359 

The attention of the members is hereby directed to the 
report of the Committee on the prizes awarded to the pupils of 
the Lowell High School on subjects assigned them for their 
consideration. This report will be submitted by its chairman, 
Alfred P. Sawyer, Esq. 

Mr. Henry L. Tibbetts died at his home on the morning 
of March 21st at the age of sixty-one years. 

He was born in Charleston, Maine, December 20th, 1847. 
He worked on the farm and attended the district school until he 
reached the age of seventeen when he came to Lowell and found 
employment in the planing and saw mill of Norcross and 
Saunders, and attended McCoy's commercial school evenings 
for further mental discipline and improvement. * 

In the course of time he accepted the position of fore- 
man in the lumber yard of H. and A. Whitney where he re- 
mained five years. After the death of Mr. Albert Whitney, Mr. 
Tibbetts took one-half interest in the business with Mr. Hiram 
Whitney, and the firm became known as Whitney and Tibbetts. 

Later, soon after the death of Mr. Charles Whitney, Mr. 
Tibbetts accepted the position of treasurer and general manager 
of the Skillings, Whitney and Barnes Lumber Company, of 
Boston, one of the largest concerns in this line of business in 
the United States. 

He was a prominent member of the First Baptist 
Church in this city and was for a long time superintendent of 
the Sunday School connected with this church. 

Mr. Tibbetts was an active, influential citizen, highly 
respected for integrity of character and business ability, and 
will be greatly missed by a large circle of friends in the business 
and church associations of this community. 

Mr. Hiram Whitney, a widely known citizen, died suddenly 
in the hall-way of the third floor of the Hildreth Building, on 
the forenoon of the 26th of March, 1908, just five days after the 


death of his former business partner, Air. Henry L. Tibbetts, 
at the age of seventy-five years. 

Mr. Whitney was born in Westford. He came to Lowell 
about forty years ago, and was for a long time engaged in the 
lumber business under the firm name and style of 11. and A. 

During the later years of his life he was largely engaged 
in the real estate business. His home was in Westford at the 
time of his decease, but his headquarters as a business man were 
in this city where he was widely known to a large constituency 
of friends, and he will be greatly missed. 

Mr. Isaac Allen Fletcher, one of the best known of the 
old residents of this city, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. 
George G. Rogers, 384 Wilder Street, on the afternoon of June 
21 st, 1908, at the age of seventy-nine years and two months. 

Mr. Fletcher was born in Boxborough, Mass., in 1838, 
and came to Lowell when nine years old, where he practically 
lived until his decease. For many years he was engaged in the 
grocery business at the corner of Central and Church Streets. 
Afterward he served as assessor of the city of Lowell for about 
twelve years. He was a quiet, genial man, of unblemished 
reputation as a citizen, and will long be remembered by those 
who enjoyed his acquaintance and friendship. 

Mr. Thomas O. Allen, commonly known as "Major" 
Allen, died at his home, 948 Middlesex street, on July nth, 
1908, at the age of about seventy-three years. Mr. Allen was 
born in Lowell. He was the son of Otis Allen, Esq., a prominent 
lumber dealer for many years in this city. 

On the 15th of April, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, 
Sixth Regiment, and was with the regiment in its famous 
march through Baltimore, at which time he acted as sergeant 
of his company. He remained in the service until the close of 
the war, and upon his third enlistment he was given the rank of 
major. ! 

ANNUAL REPORT, 1908-1909 36 1 

After the declaration of peace, he went to Jacksonville, 
Florida, and engaged in the lumber business for about eighteen 
years. On his return to Lowell he was elected inspector of milk 
and vinegar, a position which he held at the time of his death. 

He leaves a widow, Mrs. Charlotte A. Allen, one daughter, 
Miss Jennie L. Allen, a teacher in the High School of this city ; 
two sons, Dr. Otis Allen, of this city, and Mr. Edward A. Allen 
of Portland, Maine, and also a brother, the Hon. Charles H. 
Allen, a distinguished citizen of Lowell, now residing in New 
York City. 

Major Allen was an honest, upright, reliable man; and 
some of us who were his schoolmates in boyhood days, fondly 
remembering him, would offer this simple tribute to his memory. 

Mr. George F. Libbee died at his home on Wannalancit 
street on the 19th of August, 190S, at sixty-eight years of age. 
Mr. Libbee had lived in Lowell all his life. For 38 years he had 
been connected with the firm of H. H. Wilder & Co., widely 
known as plumbers and dealers in furnaces and ranges. 

He was a quiet, modest man, not given to social display, 
nor public excitement. His circle of acquaintance though large 
may not have been as extensive as some, but by those who knew 
him intimately he was highly prized as a friend, and as such he 
is remembered now, and also for his worth as an upright, 
intelligent citizen. 

Mr. Levi Dumas, after a very short illness, died at his 
home on Ash street, on the 9th of November, 1908, at the age 
of seventy-eight years and one month. Mr. Dumas was born in 
Montpelier, Yt., October 8th, 1830, and came to Lowell in 1848 
at the age of eighteen years. For several years he was employed 
by the firm of Merrill and Straw. In 1868 the firm of Bacheller, 
Dumas and Company, which was afterwards changed to Dumas 
and Company, was formed to do business as bookbinders and 
blank book manufacturers. Mr. Dumas was senior member of 
this firm at the time of his death. 'His pleasant face, his cordial 


greeting of friends, and his kindly nature made him friends 
wherever he chanced to go. He is remembered today as an 
upright man, and an intelligent, prosperous citizen. 

It may be proper in this connection to mention the death 
of Mr. Charles F. Livingston, of Manchester, N. H., who was 
elected a corresponding member of this Society May 13th, 1908, 
and who died December 24th, 1908 at the age of ninety years. 

There are two other names which with propriety may be 
included in this obituary list, although at the time of the decease 
of these gentlemen their names were not on the list of member- 
ship of the Lowell Historical Society ; they were, however, mem- 
bers of the ''Old Residents' Historical Association" up to the 
time of the merger of the latter into the present Society. 

Mr. George W. Fiske, one of the oldest residents of the 
city, died at an early hour on February 4th, 1909, at the age of 
ninety-seven years. 

Mr. Fiske was an excellent type of the genial old gentle- 
man of the old school. He was born in Guildhall, Vermont, 
in 1812, and came to Lowell in 1833, three years before Lowell 
became incorporated as a city. At that time the population of 
the "Town of Lowell" was about 8,000. No railroad entered the 
place and the trip to Boston was made by coach. He attended 
the meeting when the "town" became a "city" and was among 
the spectators wdio saw President Jackson when he visited 
Lowell in 1833. His first ballot was cast for John Ouincy Adams, 
and he has always taken pride in saying that every Republican 
presidential candidate since that day had received his vote, with 
the exception of the election in November last when he was unable 
to leave his home. He will be' missed, remembered and loved as 
a genial old gentleman, whose memory was a connecting link 
between the old and the new, and who stood as a witness of the 
growth of Lowell as a township of about 8,000 residents to 
Lowell as a city with an official census of nearly one hundred 
thousand souls. 

ANNUAL REPORT, [908-I9CK) 363 

Air. Horace B. Shattuck, for a long time one of the best 
known business men in this city, died on June 21st, 1906 at 
the home of his daughter, Mrs. F. W. Ely, in Greenville, X. H., 
at the age of eighty-three years. Mr. Shattuck received his early 
education in the schools of the "town"' of Lowell, and in hi.> young 
days engaged in the hardware business, in which he continued un- 
til about four years ago when ill health prevented him from fur- 
ther business activity. He enjoyed the esteem and friendship of 
many friends. He leaves two sons, Edward H. Shattuck, now 
living in the West, and Dr. George B. Shattuck, a professor at 
Yassar College and a corresponding member of our Society, and 
a daughter, Airs. E. W. Ely, of Greenville, N. 11. 

There is one other name which may with propriety be 
added to this obituary list because its possessor was for a long 
time a prominent citizen in Lowell, and although not a member 
of the Lowell Llistorical Society, he was for many years a mem- 
ber of the Old Residents' Historical Association. Air. Charles 
L. Hildreth died in Westford very suddenly on February 26th, 
1909, at the age of eighty-five years. He was widely known, 
highly respected and he will be missed by a large circle of friends 
who knew him as an upright, honest ami capable man*. 

This Society stands for investigations and research in 
matters which appertain to the history of Lowell and its sur- 
rounding towns, and for the recording of the results of such 
labor in permanent form. Its object ought to appeal to both 
the old and the young, and especially to the thoughtful who may 
cherish a spirit of civic pride in the home of their nativity or 
their adoption. Its jurisdiction extends over an area which 
was made historic in Revolutionary times, and which has 
since then contributed no small share to the moral force which 
has given to the Commonwealth its high position among the 
states which form our noble Republic. 

3 6 4 


As the years go by, its personal character changes, for 
the Angel of Death issues its summons in the unexpected hour. 

It is for ns who are living to work while it is day, for the night 
cometh when no one can work. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Solon \V. Stevens, 


The Centennial Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln. 

The Lowell Historical Society observed the One Hundredth 
Anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln by a public meet- 
ing in Memorial Hall, Wednesday evening, February 10, 1910, 
that being the date of the annual meeting of the Society. 

The following is a copy of the printed programme. 

ILtncoln Centennial 

FEBRUARY 10th, 1909, 8 P. M. 



Introductory Address by the President 


Solo— Battle Hymn of the Republic Written by Airs. Julia Ward Howe 


(Chorus by the audience, in which every one is requested to join) 

Recollections of Lincoln in Lowell in 184-8 and Reading of Concluding 
Portion of the Emancipation Proclamation 


Recollections of the Assassination of Lincoln in I860 

of Everett, Mass. 

Solo— Vive l' America MRS. W. H. PEPIN 

Reading of Portion of the Commemoration Ode, Written by 
James Russell Lowell 


Reminiscences of Peksonal Interviews with Lincoln 

Solo — Star Spangled Banner 


(Chorus by the audience) 

Introductory Address by the President, Solon \V. Stevens, 


I cast my first presidential vote in the fall of i860 for 
Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, and when in January, 1861, I 
learned that my college classmate and friend of a lifetime, Hon. 
John Hay, who later became Secretary of State, had been chosen 


by Mr. Lincoln as his private secretary, I made up my mind to 
witness the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President of 
the United States. 

I put in an appearance on the morning- of March 4, 1861 
and through the kindness of Mr. Hay, I was favored in a great 
degree. It was a day to be remembered in its incidents, many 
of which I never shall forget, it was a beautiful day. The 
area in front of the White House was then one wild tract of 
uncultivated land, the Congressional Library had not then been 
built, and the Capitol at that time had nothing in front of it on 
the southerly side except a vast plain of uncultivated land. 
As far as the eye could reach, it was covered that morning with 
people, manifesting by their presence various views concerning 
the subject then before them. 1 shall not try to describe all the 
incidents which I witnessed. That is all a matter of history now. 
But when Mr. Lincoln stepped from the Senate Chamber to 
the steps of the portico to deliver his first inaugural address, 
he was received with expressions of great enthusiasm and 
hilarity, but there were some expressions of derision and scorn. 
As I moved around in the crowd before I took the position that 
was assigned me by my friend, I could hear expressions like 
this, "This backwoodsman! This awkward man from the west! 
What docs he know about affairs of state! Does he think he 
can push back the clouds of war that are gathering now in the 
horizon?" Many expressions of that kind were heard. . 

You will remember that seven states had seceded from 
the Union and had formed what was called the "Southern Con- 
federacy." I stood within about twelve feet of the temporary 
platform which had been built in front of the portico when Mr. 
Lincoln stood behind his desk to deliver his inaugural address. 
I stood just behind two men who apparently had known each 
other many years. The one on my left was a western man. and 
a strong Lincoln man, the other a Southerner and a red-hot 



Finally Mr. Lincoln was seen coming down the aisle 
of the platform with Senator Douglass on his left, and Chief 
Justice Taney on his right ready to administer the oath of office 
at the proper time. Mr. Lincoln commenced his inaugural 
address in these words ( bea-r in mind if you please that seven 
of the states of the Union had passed the ordinances of 
secession), "Fellow citizens of the United States," he paused an 
instant and that whole crowd was just as .still as this audience; 
then went on to say that his dissatisfied fellow-countrymen had 
taken no oath to strike against the Union, hut that he was 
about to take an oath to preserve and protect the Union, and 
that if trouble should come and war was declared, they — the 
Southerners — would be the aggressors. Chief Justice Taney then 
administered the oath of office and the crowd began to move 
away. As they moved about the southern man turned to the 
western man and said, "Well, what do you think of it?" "Think 
of it," said the western man, "it is the greatest speech since 
Christ's Sermon on the Mount. What do you think of it?" 
"I think it means war," said the southern man. The western 
man called him by name and said, "You and I have been friends 
for many years, but if it means war we have come to the parting 
of the ways, and let me tell you this, if it means war you of 
the south will be the beginners, and let me tell you another 
thing, if it means war, in the end the south will bite the dust 
in tears." The men separated. I do not know whether they 
have ever seen each other again or whether they are alive or not, 
but this I do know, that the western man's prophecy has since 
become history. 

In the afternoon as I strolled around the city of Washing-: 
ton, where the railroad station then stood, a carriage filled with 
men drove up to the station and came to a halt. They lifted one 
of their number and carried him into the station to his seat in 
the cars. That is the w r ay in which James Buchanan left Wash- 
ington on the 4th of March, 1861. In the morning I had seen the 


incoming' of a new era, and now I was witnessing the exit of a 
representative of an era that was passing away. 

In the evening - I had the pleasure of going to the inaugural 
ball. Mr. Lincoln and his wife were there, and when they stood 
in the proper place for the reception of friends, [ joined the crowd 
and shook hands with Abraham Lincoln. It used to be the boast 
of Mr. Wendell Phillips that he had shaken hands with Lafay- 
ette when a young man. I am proud to say that I have shaken 
hands with Abraham Lincoln, that this right hand has been 
grasped by, and has grasped, the right hand of the greatest 
American in the history of this Republic. 

Mr. Stevens read from a sketch by Mr. Frank B. Car- 
penter, the artist, who was commissioned to go to Washington 
to paint the scene of the Emancipation Proclamation. He also 
read abstracts from Mr. Lincoln's favorite poem "O Why Should 
the Spirit of Mortal be Proud." 

After the singing of Mrs. Julia Ward Howe's Battle 
Hymn of the Republic, Mr. Stevens said: — 

Friends, so far as I have any knowledge of the matter, 
I know of but one gentleman in this city who remembers when 
Mr. Lincoln visited Lowell in 1848; that gentleman is a man 
concerning whom it is always understood that whenever he says 
anything you may depend upon it as the truth. I now take great 
pleasure in presenting to you Hon. Samuel P. Hadley. 

Judge Hadley said : — 

Mr. Lincoln will be remembered as the great head of the 
nation during the terrible war and rebellion, but he will be 
known through the world as the great emancipator. 

Recollections oe Lincoln in Lowell in 1848 and Reading 
oe Concluding Portion oe the Emancipation Proc- 
lamation, by Hon. Samuel P. Hadley. 
At the beginning of the presidential campaign of 1848, 

politics on all sides were in a rather unsatisfactory condition. 


There was a feeling of apathy in New England on the part of 
the Whigs over the nomination of General Taylor for the 
presidency. The great leaders of the party, Clay, Webster, 
Calhoun, Scott and others, had been set aside for this brave old 
soldier, "Old Rough-and-Ready" as he was called, who was 
simply a soldier and nothing more; had had no experience what- 
ever in civil life, and whose only merits to recommend him as 
a candidate were the laurels he had won, giving him distinction 
and fame, in a war which the party from the first had opposed 
and condemned. Indeed, at the time of his nomination, it was 
not clearly ascertained that he was a Whig, although he was 
known to be a slave-holder. Of course such a nomination was 
a sore disappointment to the party. Mr. Webster frankly de- 
clared it was "a nomination not fit to be made," and other promi- 
nent Whigs "sulked in their tents." 

On the other hand the Democrats had their dissensions. 
They had nominated General Lewis Cass of ^Iichigan, a states- 
man of national reputation, for president and for vice-presi- 
dent, General William O. Butler of Kentucky, one of General 
Scott's division commanders, who was expected to help along 
the southern and military ends of the ticket. It was a respectable 
ticket, but it aroused no enthusiasm. 

The Free-Soil Democrats of New York, holding fast to 
the Wilmot-Proviso, were in open revolt, refusing to support 
Cass. They nominated Ex-President Van Buren for president, 
and Charles Francis Adams for vice-president, on a free soil 
platform. This movement threatened both parties at the north, 
and called for prompt and earnest work. 

The Whig National Committee, alive to the danger, sent 
Air. Lincoln and other western Whigs into New York and New 
England, to dispel the clouds of apathy, and rouse the party to 
their duty. Accordingly Mr. Lincoln came among us, advocating 
Whig principles and candidates, and counselling union. 


On the 14th day of September, 1848, sixty years ago last 
September, the writer, then a boy of sixteen years, while walking 
up Central street, saw posted upon a wall, a sheet of white paper, 
about a yard long and two feet wide, on which was printed in 
large black block letters the following announcement: — 


Next Saturday Evening, Sept. 16, at 7.30 o'clock 

at City Hall. 
The Whigs of Lowell and Vicinity will be addressed 
next Saturday evening by Hon. Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, 
the only Whig Representative in Congress from that State, 
and George Woodman, Esq., of Boston. 

All the Van Buren converts are respectfully invited 
to attend. 

Gallery reserved for the ladies. 
Per order of the Whig Central Committee. 

Linus Child, Chairman. 
Alfred Gilman, Sgc'v." 

I stopped and read this announcement with some interest. 
Being a youth reared under Democratic influences, and sharing 
in the home feeling against the Whig party, 1 ordinarily would 
have passed this Whig handbill without taking notice of it. but 
this one seemed to appeal to me. The name "Hon. Abraham 
Lincoln of Illinois" sounded well. "The only Whig Member of 
Congress from that State," was interesting. I recall my thoughts 
as •! read this announcement with perfect distinctness. I then 
and there formed the resolution to attend that meeting, and with 
the consent of my father, for boys in those days were acenstomed 
to go to the head of the family for consent to be ottt of an 
evening, I attended. 

In the afternoon Conner before the night of the meeting 
appeared the following appeal, in the editorial column of the 


It is only necessary to say that the Whigs will assemble 
tonight in the City Hall to listen to addresses from Hon. 
Abraham Lincoln, M. C, from Illinois, and George Wood- 
man, Esq., of Boston, to bring up all the good and true 
Taylor men who can spare the time. 

From what we learn our citizens may depend upon 
enjoying a very high treat and hearing sound doctrine from 
able, staunch, faithful Whigs. 

See the call in this paper." 


It was a pleasant evening, and I walked into town from 
my home. From some cause I was late in reaching the meet- 
ing, and when I turned the corner of Carleton and Hovey's, I 
could hear the noise of loud applause and shouts of laughter 
coming from the hall. I hurried along, entered the building and 
ascended the long staircase. Entering the hall, I found the 
body of it well filled with a seated crowd who were laughing 
heartily and uproariously over a story they had been told by a 
man who was speaking as I entered. The gallery was filled 
with ladies who joined in the laughter. On the platform were 
a number of prominent Whigs of Lowell, some of whom I 
knew by sight, Hon. Linus Child, Llomer Bartlett, John Wright, 
Tappan Wentworth, John Avery, L. R. Streeter and others. 

I said a man was speaking as I entered. He 'was a tall 
man about forty years of age, dressed in dark clothing, wear- 
ing a collar which turned over a black silk cravat, over six 
feet in height, slightly stooping as tall men sometimes are, 
with long arms, which he frequently extended in earnest 
gesticulation, of dark complexion, with dark, almost black hair, 
with strong and homely features, with eyes which now kindled 
with brightness in earnest argument, or quiet humor, and then 
assumed a calm sadness ; a forceful and candid man I thought 
him, rather than an eloquent one ; he pointed his arguments 
with amusing illustrations, and funny stories, which he seemed 
to enjoy as he told them, for he joined in a comical way in 
the laugh they occasioned, shaking his sides, which peculiar 
manner seemed to add to the good humor of the audience ; with 
a voice of a more than average compass, clear and penetrating, 
pronouncing many of his words in a manner not usual in New 

For nearly three-quarters of an hour I sat and listened, 
now doing my best |o follow his .uriuurul\ <iud now ■■ joining 
in the roars of lauuhler (hat followed ln^ stoiies, 


Little did I think that I, a boy of sixteen, was looking 
into the face of one whom my torn and distracted country, in 
her hour of mortal peril, would rely on in trust and confidence 
as her chosen leader, who should bear the great burden of that 
leadership with calm and trustful confidence in the ultimate 
triumph of liberty and union in the hour of defeat, and with 
forgiving magnanimity, and tender consideration in the hour 
of victory, one who was to strike the chains from five millions 
of bond-men, one who should pass into immortality in the crown- 
ing hour of his noble life, amid the tears of every lover of 
humanity the wide world over, the great Martyr President, the 
Great Liberator — Abraham Lincoln. 

Ah ! how little did that sad-eyed, earnest man, standing 
there and speaking in that crowded hall, on that autumn night, 
know what was before him in the coming years, what trials, 
what agonies of soul were his to suffer, what terrible burdens 
of anxiety and responsibility were his to bear as the chosen head 
of a great nation struggling for life, and for which he was to 
give his own in cruel martyrdom ! Well indeed it is that "Heaven 
from all creatures hides the book of fate." 

Mr. Lincoln closed his speech amid great applause, and 
stepped back apparently to take his seat; but before he could do 
so, Air. Woodman stepped forward and whispered some words 
in his ear, which Mr. Lincoln stooped to hear, and having done 
so, nodded his head approvingly, and again came forward and 
said to the audience, "Fellow citizens, I have been requested by 
my friend Mr. Woodman, to say a few words to you in regard 
to the availability of General Taylor as the candidate of the 
Whig party for the presidency." He then talked for perhaps, 
eight or ten minutes on that subject. 

I recall the words of approval and satisfaction which 
were expressed by the audience as it left the hall, and I re- 
member giving my family an account of the meeting, and of 


I » 


repeating to them some of Mr. Lincoln's funny stories — stories 
that I have long since forgotten. 

The following are two notices of the meeting which 
appeared in the Courier on Monday, September 18. The first 
is editorial, by Corporal L. R. Streeter, the second the report of 
Alfred Gilman, the secretary. The editorial is as follows: 


The City Hall was filled to its utmost capacity again 
on Saturday night. 

Homer Bartlett presiding, and Alfred Gilman acting 
as Secretary. The Meeting was graced by the presence of 
many fair ladies, all true Whigs. 

The Chairman made a short stirring address and then 
introduced George Woodman, Esq., of Boston, who made 
a very capital speech. Hon. Abraham Lincoln of Illinois 
then addressed the assembly in a must able speech, going 
over the whole subject in a masterly and convincing manner, 
and showing, beyond a peradventure, that it is the first duty 
of the Whigs to stand united and labor with devotion to 
secure the defeat of that party which has already done so 
much mischief to the country. He was frequently interrupted 
by bursts of warm applause. After the distinguished speaker 
closed, the Secretary read the letter from General Taylor 
which we give today, and which was received with tremendous 

The meeting then adjourned with cheer after cheer 
for Taylor and Filmore. 

It was emphatically a Whig .Meeting, not a word of 
trouble, dissension or doubt, coming up there." 

Air. Oilman's report is as follows: — 

For the Journal and Courier 


The sterling Whigs of Lowell came together last 
Saturday evening at the City ,Hall. 

The Meeting was called together by the Chairman of 
the Whig Central Committee, Hon. Linus Child. 

Llomer Bartlett, Esq. was chosen Chairman, and A. 
Gilman, Secretary. After a few animating remarks from 
the Chairman, he introduced George Woodman, Esq., of 
Boston, who made a very pertinent and witty off hand speech, 
which was frequently interrupted by the spontaneous plaudits 
of the audience. 

At the close of his speech, Mr. Woodman introduced 
the Hon. Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. 

It would be doing injustice to his speech to endeavor 
to give a sketch of it. 

It was replete with good sense, sound reasoning, and 
irresistible argument, and spoken with that perfect command 
of manner and matter which so eminently distinguishes the 
Western orators. 


He disabused the Public of the erroneous suppositions 
that Taylor was not a Whig, that Van Buren was anything 

more than a thorough Loco Foco on all subjects other than 
Free Territory, and hardly safe on that, and showed Up in a 
masterly manner the inconsistency and folly of those VVhigS 
who, being drawn off from the true and oldest Free Soil 
organization known among the parties of the Union, would 
now lend their influence to help Mr. Van Buren into the 
Presidential Chair. His speech was interrupted by the cheers 
of the audience evincing the truth of the great supposition 
that the dead can speak. 

At the close of the speech the Secretary by request, 
read the letter of General Taylor to Capt. Alison, which had 
just been received, in which he says 'From the beginning 
till now, I have declared myself to be a Whig on all proper 
occasions.' " 

The Lowell Advertiser, then edited by Fisher A. Hildreth, 
a Democratic paper, reviewed the speeches of the evening with 
some severity, hut did not indicate the particular points of each 
speaker which were the subjects of its criticisms. 

I have been asked where Mr. Lincoln stopped when in our 
city. I do not know. As he spoke on Saturday night, and as 
in those days there were no trains to Boston later than fi.30, lie 
must, 1 conclude, have remained here over night, probably with 
the Chairman of the Central Committee, Hon. Linus Child, on 
Kirk street, possibly with Hon. Homer Bartlett, who resided in 
the same block with Mr. Child. Whether he remained over the 
Sunday with its, I do not know. 

I again saw Mr. Lincoln in Washington in 1862. 

Judge Hadley then read abstracts from the Atlantic 
Monthly and the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Mr. Stevens: 

I now present to you William M. Clarke, Esq., of Everett. 
He is a gentleman who was a member of Company C of the 
National Guard on the 4th of March, 1861. His position officially 
shown, was a little nearer than mine was, but I cannot think 
the scene made any deeper impression upon him. We are to 
have the pleasure of listening to one who was in Washington 
on the nisfht of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. 

Recollections of the Assassination of Lincoln. By 
William M. Clarke, Esq. 

My knowledge of and interest in Mr. Lincoln began in 
the year 1855 when, as a page in the House of Representatives 
of the 34th Congress of the United States, I became intimately 
acquainted in the course of my duties with the Hon. Jesse O. 
Norton, a member of that Congress from Galena, Illinois, a 
former colleague of Mr. Lincoln. 

Mr. Lincoln served his only term in Congress in the years 
1847 t° 1849. He m " st contested for the nomination to Congress 
in 1843, his opponents being a Mr. Baker and a Mr. Harden. 
Mr. Harden secured the nomination and was elected. In 1845, 
Mr. Lincoln was again a candidate for nomination, but with- 
drew in favor of Mr. Baker, one of his opponents in 1843. ^ n 
1847, Peter Cartwright, the itinerant Methodist minister, opposed 
Mr. Lincoln, but Mr. Lincoln was nominated and elected. I 
mention these facts to show the strange fatality which attended 
these three successful men. Harden was killed at the battle of 
Buena Vista while leading his brigade in a desperate charge 
against the enemy. Baker was killed at Ball's Bluff, Virginia, in 
the Civil War, and Lincoln as yon know was assassinated. 
, Tn i860, I was serving under Colonel Alexander H. Red- 

field in the far west near what is now known as Yellowstone Park. 
Colonel Redneld was a democrat and a southern sympathizer, be- 
lieving fully in the institution of slavery, and when Air. Lincoln 
was elected in November i860 as president of the United States, 
Colonel Redfield, believing that there would be a conflict between 
the south and the north, resigned from the service and ordered 
me to proceed to Washington, District of Columbia. Soon after 
arriving in Washington in December of i860, I was offered a 
position in the postotuce at Richmond, Virginia, oi \\w to be 
Confederate States of America. 


My interest in Mr. Lincoln, of whom I had read a great 
deal, had grown and my belief in the greatness of the man had 
increased, so that when the opportunity of appearing as an 
antagonist against him presented itself, I quickly decided that 
my loyalty was absolutely due to the United States, so I remained 
in Washington during that winter. The excitement in and 
around the city was very great. The southern men were loud 
in their boasts of what they would do with the "Rail Splitter," 
Lincoln. Men arrayed themselves on one side or the other, I 
for the United States, by joining Company C of the National 
Guard of the District of Columbia. That company was selected 
as the inaugural guard to Mr. Lincoln on the fourth of March, 

Many of you doubtless have been in Washington, and 
know that the inaugural exercises take place on the east front 
of the capitol. For the inaugural of Air. Lincoln a platform was 
built out over the steps leading from the rotunda, between the 
two heroic figures on either side. Mr. Lincoln came from the 
senate chamber accompanied by Chief Justice Roger A. Taney, 
of the Supreme Court of the United States on his right, and 
Stephen A. Douglass, his old time political opponent, on his left. 
Proceeding to a temporary desk erected on the platform the oath 
of office was administered to Mr. Lincoln by the Chief Justice, 
and with Senator Douglass standing at his left holding Air. 
Lincoln's hat, Mr. Lincoln proceeded with his inaugural address. 
The company of which I was a member stood directly at the foot 
of the platform, our muskets were loaded, capped and half 
cocked and we had ten rounds of cartridges in our boxes. Our 
orders were at the first sign of attempted violence to Mr. Lincoln 
to fire. Your President has described the immense crowd that 
was there. He has described the scene and it is unnecessary 
for me to speak of it. No violence was attempted, and after 
escorting Mr. Lincoln to the White House we returned to our 
armory and were dismissed. Within forty-eight l^ours I had 



to leave Washing-ton, and going to Illinois was made Regimental 
Quartermaster Sergeant of the second Illinois artillery and served 
with General Grant, coming with him when he took command 
of the eastern army, and was on special duty in Washington, D. C. 

On the evening of April 14, 1865, having some work to 
do in my office I returned there. The office we occupied was in 
a private house which had heen taken for military purposes. 
It was on the south side of H street between 18th and 19th 
streets. Those of you who are familiar with Washington will 
remember that in those days the War and Navy departments 
were but two story buildings of sandstone situated on the east 
side of 17th street south of Pennsylvania Avenue. Directly 
opposite the Navy Department on the southwest corner of 17th 
and H street was General Grant's headquarters, and on the 
opposite corner was Winders building, occupied by clerks of the 

As the clocks of the city of Washington were striking 
ten, having finished my work I came out of the door into the 
bright, beautiful moonlight. Impressed as it were with the 
solemnity of the night, I stood on the steps until the clock had 
ceased striking, then crossing to the north side of H street, I 
turned to the east intending to go up 17th street to Pennsylvania 
Avenue to get an omnibus to my home in the eastern section of 
the city. In those days there were no cars, omnibuses were the 
only means of transportation between Georgetown in the west, 
and the navy-yard on the east. Going down H street, I saw a 
man turn from 17th street into H street, whom I recognized 
by a deformity of his head lying on his right shoulder as 
Mr. Schoolcraft, a brother of Luke Schoolcraft, the Indian 
historian. Knowing Mr. Schoolcraft very well, I said to him 
as soon as we were in speaking distance, "Pretty late for you to 
be out tonight, Mr. Schoolcraft, isn't it?" Looking up to me and 
calling me by name he said, "My boy, we are ruined, Mr. Lincoln 
is killed, Mr. Seward is killed and the great war we have been 


through has come to naught." Putting my hand on his shoulder 
I said, "Mr. Schoolcraft, have you been drinking champagne 
tonight? Go home, and go to bed, wake up in the morning and 
you will find Mr. Lincoln alive and the country all safe," and I 
bade him good night and started home. As ] turned into 17th 
street toward Pennsylvania avenue, I saw men running, and 
remembering Mr. Schoolcraft's words 1 started and ran also. 
Turning into Pennsylvania avenue I ran to the east entrance gate 
of the White House and stood direetly near lion. Edwin M. 
Stanton, then Secretary of War, and lion. Hugh AlcCullough, 
then Secretary of the Treasury. From these two gentlemen I 
learned that Mr. Lincoln had indeed been assassinated by Booth, 
and that Mr. Seward's throat had been partially cut by Atzerodt. 
Mr. Seward lived on 17th street directly across from where we 
stood. I then started down town and got to 10th street in front 
of Ford's Theatre, where the assassination had occurred. The 
theatre faced west. Laura Keene was playing "Our American 
Cousin." Two boxes on the south side of the first gallery had 
been thrown into one for the use of Mr. Lincoln and his party. 
The place usually occupied by the orchestra directly in front of 
the stage had been filled with chairs, the orchestra having been 
put under the stage. You will remember that I said that it was 
such a bright moon-light night that I recognized Air. School- 
craft at a considerable distance. At five minutes of ten a carriage 
drove to the entrance door of Ford's Theatre. A man got out 
of that carriage, entered the foyer and, taking his watch from 
his pocket, said "five minutes of ten." Later the same man, taking 
his watch again from his pocket, said "ten o'clock. These words 
had hardly been uttered by him when John Wilkes Booth, who 
had been standing near the entrance door of the box occupied 
by the President, pushed open the door of that box, and quietly 

McDonald, the stage carpenter, had oiled the hinges of 
that door and placed in the corner of the box a stout ,oaken bar. 


As soon as he was in the box, Booth put that oaken bar in the 
iron support which had been put on either side of the door, 
effectually blocking entrance to the box from the gallery. The 
party in the box consisted of Mr. and. Mrs. Lincoln, Major 
Rathburn, his aide-de-camp and Major Rathburn's fiancee. All 
were looking intently on the stage when Booth drew his pistol 
and fired at the President, the shot taking effect in the back of 
the head of Mr. Lincoln. Then Booth ran to the front of the 
box and jumped to the stage. In his jump his spur caught in 
the flag which draped the front of the box and Booth fell side- 
ways as it were on the stage, but immediately he sprang to his 
feet and waving aloft his pistol cried, "Sic semper tyrannis," 
and turning to the right limped across the stage into the exit 
and into an alley leading to F street where his young friend 
David Herold sat on horse-back holding a horse for Booth. 
As Booth mounted his horse and gathered the reins, he said to 
Herold, "Dave, I have done it." "Done what?" asked Herold. 
"I have killed the tryant," replied Booth. Then began the wild 
ride for escape. 

I have been asked to say something about Herold, with 
whom I went to school. The Herold family came from Port 
Tobacco, Charles County, Lower Maryland. David was the only 
boy in a family of seven, his father was a hunter keeping several 
packs of hunting dogs, and by going with his father on hunting 
expeditions David acquired a thorough knowledge of the topog- 
raphy of lower Maryland. Dave was a bright boy, but being 
the only son in the family was made a bit of a hero, and so 
acquired a "love of what seemed to him heroic things. Among 
the family acquaintances were the Surratts, who were also 
originally from lower Maryland; there also was an only son, 
John H. Surratt. They were well to do people, Mrs. Surratt 
owning large tracts of land in Maryland, a small settlement on 
her land near Good Hope being called Surrattsville. You all 
undoubtedly remember reading of an alleged conspiracy to ab- 




duct Mr. Lincoln on his going to or coming from the Soldiers' 
Home, in the northwestern part of the city and to hold him as 
a hostage for peace in the south. That this conspiracy was 
concocted in the house of Airs. Surratt with Booth as the princi- 
pal instigator, and Dave Herold as an accessory, there is 
absolutely no doubt, and when this plan was abandoned Booth 
conceived the idea of assassination, with Airs. Surratt having 
guilty knowledge thereof. When Booth and Herold started 
from F street on that fatal night, they went directly to the 
eastern part of the city, down Eleventh street, across Anacostia 
bridge and going up the Good Hope road, went direct 
to Surrattsville, and there found two rifles which had been 
carried there by Mrs. Surratt in her buggy the day before. 

I have mentioned that the orchestra had been taken from 
its usual place in the theatre and put under the stage. Among 
the persons seated in the chairs, the place where the orchestra 
usually sat, was a naval officer attached to the dispatch boat 
Ascutney, then lying at the navy-yard. As Booth ran across 
the stage and made his exit this officer sprang upon the stage, 
and grasping the flags which had adorned the front of Air. 
Lincoln's box, succeeded in getting into the box. Lifting the 
head of Air. Lincoln from the floor he held it upon his left 
breast, and directed Alajor Rathburn, who was completely 
dazed, to take the oaken bar from the door, so as to allow others 
to come to their assistance. The name of this officer has passed 
from my mind but I remember the bloody side of his jacket where 
Air. Lincoln's head was pillowed. Of the taking of Air. Lincoln 
across the street to the house of Air. Peterson, and of his death 
it is unnecessary to speak. Five years or more after these events 
and while in Alexandria, Egypt, I learned that John J. Surratt 
had been acquitted of complicity in the murder of Air. Lincoln, 
because of the alleged impossibility of recognizing one as they 
stepped from tkeir carriage in front of the hall-way of the theatre ; 

for you will remember that we did not have electric lights in 



those days. Had I been in the United States, I believe that my 
testimony would have convicted Surratt; and while speaking 
of Alexandria, 1 will say that I talked with the Arab, through 
whose instrumentality Surratt was captured while in the garb 
of a Papal Zouave, as he ascended the gang-plank of a P. & O. 
steamer lying at the quay. Immediately after the assassination 
of Mr. Lincoln, Surratt left the United States. His picture was 
sent broadcast throughout the world. This Arab noticed this 
man as he went with the other Zouaves up the gang-plank and 
believing that he recognized in the face of one of the men, a 
picture that he had seen published, went to the office of the 
United States Consul General, there described the man and with 
officers went aboard the ship and pointed him out. The man 
proved to be Surratt. 

For the facts that I have stated in regard to Herold and 
Booth I give as my authority the Rev. Mr. Olds, then rector of 
Christ Episcopal Church at the navy yard. Mr. Olds attended 
Herold at the time of his execution. Mrs. Surratt and Atzerodt 
went to their death under the influence of brandy, Herold did 
not take any. Mr. Olds said to him, "David, you are about to 
die, your mother and sisters are at home, their hearts wrung 
to grief because of you. Have you any words to send to cheer 
them?" Then Herold told that which I have heretofore related. 

Mr. Lincoln as you know died, his body lay in state in the 
rotunda of the capitol for three days, and I saw him dead where 
I had first seen him alive. 

After Mrs. Pepin had sung Vive TAmerica, Mr. Stevens 
introduced Frank K. Stearns, Esq., as "our genial, conscientious 
public official," who read the Commemoration Ode, by James 
Russell Lowell. 

Mr. Stevens next introduced Moses G. Parker, M. D., 
who read an interesting paper on Personal Interviews with 
Mr. Lincoln. 

Reminiscences of Personal Interviews with Lincoln. By 
A I oses G. Parker, M. D. 

I have been asked by your President to give some 
personal recollections of Lincoln, and if he had added "and 
wife" it would have fitted as well, for on two of the three times 
I had the honor of meeting President Lincoln, his wife was with 
him. She was much younger than her husband, whose hundredth 
anniversary we celebrate tonight. 

The first time I met President Lincoln was in 1865 at 
Point of Rocks, Virginia, where 1 was Surgeon in charge of the 
First Division of the 18th Army Corps Hospital, numbering four 
thousand beds, and was officer of the day when President Lincoln 
and his wife visited this hospital. A short history of the hospital 
will give you a reason for this visit. The 18th Army Corps, 
to which I was attached, started from Fortress Munroe, Virginia, 
April 1864, with thirty-two thousand men. After four months 
of fighting around Richmond and Petersburg, we could not 
muster fifteen thousand men fit for duty. A corps hospital had 
been established in tents on the south side of the Appomattox 
river. By October it was decided that we must have winter 

Surgeon General Suckley and Surgeon Fowler were my 
superior officers in the 18th Army Corps, and they ordered Asst. 
Surgeon Parker to build a winter hospital for the First Division 
of the 18th Army Corps. 

I selected for the site a high point of land on the north 
side of the Appomatox river, six miles from Petersburg and 
eighteen miles from Richmond, called Point of Rocks. 

It was a beautiful location on a high bluff overlooking the 
river, and from it could be seen Fort Clifton, Petersburg and 
some of the long line of breastworks that extended from Peters- 
burg to Richmond. We located the water tank on the highest 
point of land and the hospital wards in a semi-circle around it. 
with headquarters at the end. 


We cut down the tall pine trees and used them for the log 
cabins and the sides of our hospital buildings. We built the 
sides five logs high and used tent cloth for the roof. The build- 
ing of a winter hospital from the timber lands of the enemy 
attracted attention, not only at Gen. Grant's headquarters but at 

As Congress was about to appropriate a large sum of 
money for the City Point Hospital, Generals Grant and Butler 
visited the Division Hospital, and after looking it over, asked 
why we had used cloth for covering in place of boards. They 
were told that we could not get boards for they were all taken 
by the Quartermasters to cover their mules ; to which Gen. Butler 
replied, "We will see about that." The next morning I was 
greatly surprised to receive an order turning over to Point of 
Rock Hospital all boards made at the mill for the next two days. 

I sent the order, with plenty of milk punch made from 
condensed milk, to the mill, and never did men work better than 

these men the next two days. 

The large appropriation for City Point Hospital was 
reduced, and General Grant had board buildings erected covered 
with tarred paper and heated with stoves. Doubtless this was 
one of the reasons why President Lincoln wanted to see our 

Accordingly, about 11 o'clock one morning, President 
Lincoln and his wife came on the little steamer "Greyhound" 
from City Point, where they were visiting General Grant, and 
walked from our landing to the hospital headquarters. 

Being officer of the day I had the honor of receiving 
the President, and a general introduction of officers followed. 
The President looked over the hospital buildings without going 
into them. 

He seemed anxious and careworn. He was very kind and 
genial in his manner, and was carelessly dressed, wearing a tall 
hat, making his tall figure look even taller than any of our 


officers. He moved easily and when he sat down he would cross 
his legs, throwing one knee over the other and then his legs 
would hang nearly parallel with each other, making this position 
of his graceful, easy and natural. He said but little, was very 
thoughtful and evidently wanted to be alone, for he soon left us, 
walking to the Point of Rocks (a high bluff) some twenty rods 
away and sat down under what was called the Pocahontas Oak. 
There he sat looking towards our line of breastworks. Some- 
times he placed his elbow on his knee and rested his head on his 
hand. He was thinking of something we knew not of. He had 
visited General Grant and probably knew what was about to take 

Mrs. Lincoln, who was richly dressed in black silk, was 
rather large, stout and dignified in appearance. , She had been 
escorted through several of the hospital wards by some of the 
officers' wives. When she returned to our headquarters President 
Lincoln joined her and the visit was over. By this time hun- 
dreds of convalescent soldiers came out to see the President and 
his wife and when they cheered him, President Lincoln simply 
raised his hat, bowed and returned to the boat. 

The following Sunday, about noon, not long after Jeff 
Davis had left the morning service so suddenly on that eventful 
day in April, 1865, our telegraph operator came to me in a very 
excited manner, saying, "You ought to know this." He showed 
me a copy of the following telegram that had just gone over our 

"Be prepared to open every gun on the line at three o'clock 
tJiis a f tern oo)i. 

(Signed) U. S. GRANT." 

You can imagine as well as I what was to take place on 
that memorable Sunday in April, 1865, and only a few hours 
after Jeff Davis had so hurriedly left the morning service. 

The firing commenced a little after three o'clock, but few- 
guns replied to the cannonade in our immediate front. The 



severe fighting was on the extreme left of our line, near the 
Weldon Railroad. We could hear the constant booming of 
cannon in that direction and occasionally the rattle of musketry, 
telling that the infantry were engaged and that the battle was for 
the possession of the Weldon Railroad, which our army finally 

After dark of this same day came the most brilliant sight 
I saw during the war ; it was between eight and nine o'clock in 
the evening, evidently by a pre-arranged plan or order, the Con- 
federates set on fire at the same time their entire camp extend- 
ing from Petersburg to Richmond, a distance of about twenty 
miles. The camp consisted of brush and pine boughs, winter 
covering for themselves and horses. The flames shot up and 
illuminated the sky for miles around ; it was a grand and glorious 
sight for us, as it told the story of the downfall of Richmond 
and the end of the Rebellion. 

The second time I saw President Lincoln and his wife 
was after our nurses had been received by the President. The 
story is as follows : 

One of our most energetic nurses, formerly a Miss Joy, 

from Boston, then the wife of a major and later Princess Salm 

; / Salm,* and several other nurses wanted to see the President. 

They went to headquarters and asked Gen. Sickles if they could 

see the president. 

The general arranged with President Lincoln to receive 
them, at 2 o'clock that afternoon. 

Gen. Sickles was the first Democrat to shake the hand of 
President Lincoln in the House of Representatives at Wash- 
ington. It happened in this way— when President Lincoln first 
visited our representatives in Representative Hall at Washing- 
ton, the Republicans all came forward to shake his hand, but 

*Miss Agnes Laclerq Joy, of Vermont, married morganistically to 
Prince Salm Salm of Germany, was afterwards wife of Charles Heneage of 
England. See American Almanac, Year Book, Encyclopaedia and Atlas, 
1903, Page 123. 1 


the Democrats held aloof, retiring to one side of the hall. Then 
Gen. Sickles spoke to the Democrats, saying, "Lincoln i.^ presi- 
dent, gentlemen, and I am going down and shake hands with 
him. Von can do as yon like." This broke the spell, and they 
followed, and he was the first Democratic member of the house 
to shake the hand of President Lincoln. 

At the honr appointed the nurses, dressed in their best, 
appeared at Gen. Sickles' tent and said, "We want to kiss the 
president. Will it do?" "Oh, yes," said the gallant Sickles, 
"I only wish 1 was he." "But he is so tall!" "Oh, he will 
accommodate himself," said Sickles, and he did, and nothing 
was then thought of it. 

The next day, when Mrs. Lincoln was riding in the 
ambulance and President Lincoln was riding horse-hack with 
General Grant, the to-be-princess was also out riding, and, see- 
ing the procession, rode up and sainted the president. This 
angered Mrs. Lincoln, and she wanted to know who the woman 

In talking- with General Sickles and Princess Salm Salm 
many years after, I found that they remembered the circumstance 
well, and laughed over it. 

The last time I saw President Lincoln was in Jeff Davis' 
house, at Richmond, the Tuesday following the fall of Richmond, 
and two days after Jeff Davis had left so suddenly. 

President Lincoln evidently had the same desire we all 
had to see the inside of the city of Richmond. 

The president, apparently without fear, went up the James 
river on a gunboat with Admiral Porter to within one mile of 
Richmond, then he and the Admiral were rowed in a small boat 
and landed in the lower part of the city, and with only the sailors 
that rowed the boat, walked into Richmond through the burnt 
district still smoking and smouldering, it having been looted and 
set on fire by the Confederate soldiers before they left the city. 



All liquor, apple-jack or apple brandy, etc., found in the 
city, was ordered to be destroyed. In many cellars, barrels of 
the intoxicating stuff were found. These were taken into the 
street, the heads of the barrels cut open, and their contents 
emptied into the gutter. 

Soon the colored people discovered the president, and on 
bended knee, with upraised hands, they and the poor whites 
shouted "Glory to God," "Glory to God,*' "Praise de Lord," 
"Massa Linkum has come," "Massa Linkum has cum." 

Soon so great a crowd gathered that the soldiers had to 
be called upon to clear the streets, a carriage was obtained and 
the president was escorted through the city. 

I was on horseback and saw President Lincoln in the 
carriage in front of Libby Prison, looking at that place of horrors, 
now filled with rebel prisoners, which the day before held our 
Union soldiers. We all enjoyed this sight. The tables were 
turned and we had the fun of asking these Confederates "How 
they liked it?" 

Later in the day I saw President Lincoln at Jeff Davis' 
house. Here he held an informal reception. He was greatly 
pleased at the turn of events. 

I was proud to be remembered, and shall never forget his 
kind and pleasant face and manner as he said, when taking my 
hand, "The war is nearly over." He seemed as if a great load 
had been lifted from his shoulders since he was at our hospital, 
a few days before. 

Eleven days later, this great and good man was assassin- 
% ated in Ford's Theatre at Washington. 

The meeting closed by the audience singing the Star 
Spangled Banner. 


Early Days of Railroading. By Herbert C. Taft. Read 
March 2, 1909. 

The railways of today originated from the tramways 
which were laid in England more than two hundred years ago, 
for carrying coal from the mines to the sea. The first attempt 
in building these tramways was the laying of planks or timbers 
lengthwise in the ruts in the roads caused by the heavy teaming, 
instead of filling them up with stone. From this it was but a step 
to the laying of tracks of timber rails on the surface. In 1676, 
there were tramways from the mines in the mineral districts to 
the river Weare, built with heavy rails of timber, laid exactly 
straight and parallel, and on these rails were hauled bulky carts 
made with four rollers fitting the timber rails. The rails 
originally were made of scantlings of oak and were connected 
and held in place by cross sills of the same wood, and were 
fastened together with wooden pins. Later a wearing rail which 
could be easily renewed when worn out was fastened on top of 
the rail that laid on the cross sills, and it was then possible to 
fill up between and cover the cross sills with dirt or macadam 
to protect the horses' feet. The wooden rails wearing out so 
rapidly, wrought iron bars were soon nailed to the surface of 
the wooden rail. These bars were about two inches wide, and 
half an inch thick, fastened to the timber by counter-sunk spikes. 
The irons not being stiff enough, were bent by the loads, and 
tracks so constructed were but little better than the well built 
double wooden tramway. 

The saving in the cost of transportation even from these 
rude contrivances can be seen when it is understood that while 
the regular load for one horse was 1700 pounds on the common 
roads, on the tramway one horse would regularly take a load of 
4200 pounds. Cast iron was first used for rails in 1767 by the 
Coalbrookdale Iron Company. These rails were cast five feet 
four inches long, four inches wide, and one and one-quarter 


inches thick with three holes in each, through which they were 
fastened to the timber rails by spikes. The tramway developed 
into the railway by the use of cast iron flange rails, to replace the 
wooden rails. A continuous flange or projection above the sur- 
face, on the inside of the rail, confined the wheels to the track. 
These roads were called tramroads, evidently an abbreviation 
of trammel roads, the flanges on the rails being really a trammel 
to guide the wheel which was simply a wagon wheel and confine 
it to the rail. The objection to this form of rail was that the 
rails filled up with dust and dirt, until level with the raised flange, 
and the wheels easily ran off the track. 

In 1789, a man named Jessop, built at Loughborough, 
England, a track of cast iron "edge-rails," so .called probably 
from the fact that they were set up edgewise which raised the 
top of the rail above the ground so as to allow cast iron wheels 
with a flange on the inside of the wheel to be used, the upper 
edge of the rail having a head or top on it like the present rail. 
The rails were set in cast iron chairs to which they were pinned 
or bolted. This was probably the first system of rails in chairs, 
on sleepers, and flanged wheels ever used, and the principle is 
the same as used today. 

A wrought iron rail was patented in England in 1820 by 
• Birkenshaw, as the "fish belly" rail. It was similar in shape and 
method of supporting, to Jessop's rail of thirty years previous, 
but was rolled in continuous lengths, each rail consisting of 
several spans, each three feet long, the rails being rolled twelve 
and fifteen feet long. They were set in cast iron chairs which 
were spiked down to square stone blocks three feet apart. The 
rails were placed four feet eight and one-half inches apart, and 
although different gauges, both wider and narrower, have been 
and are still in limited use, this gauge of four feet eight and 
one-half inches is the standard gauge for railroads of America 


The great benefits derived from the use of the railway 
in transporting coal from the mines suggested the idea of a 
railway for the transportation of general merchandise and of 
passengers, and the first move in this direction was the passing 
of an Act by Parliament in 1821, only ninety years ago, authoriz- 
ing the construction of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The 
colliery railways had already proven the advantages of railway 
transportation by steam power. The Hetton Railway near New 
Castle, from the collieries to the river, was seven miles long, 
and trains of sixty tons of coal were drawn at a speed of four 
and one-half miles per hour. On the Killingworth Railway, an 
engine and tender weighing ten tons drew a load of forty tons 
at a speed of six miles per hour. 

Horses were at first used in the working of the Stockton 
and Darlington Railway, the act of Parliament incorporating it 
providing for the working with men and horses. A later act 
applied for at the request of George Stephenson, who became 
engineer for the line, authorized the working of the railway with 
locomotive engines. The road with three branches was thirty- 
eight miles long. It was built a single track with passing places 
each quarter of a mile. It was built with wrought iron "fish 
belly" rails, weighing twenty-eight pounds per yard, and was 
opened in September, 1825, with a goods train of twenty-four 
cars, making a gross load of ninety tons drawn by one locomotive. 
George Stephenson himself acted as driver, with a signal man 
on horseback ahead of the train to warn trespassers, and clear 
the track for the train. The train moved off at a rate of ten to 
twelve miles per hour, and is said to have made fifteen miles 
per hour on the most favorable parts of the line. The business 
of this new railway was principally the transportation of minerals 
and goods, but soon passengers insisted on being carried, and 
on Monday, October 10th, 1825, the company began to run a 
daily coach for passengers, appropriately named "Experiment." 
This coach carried six passengers inside, and from fifteen to 


twenty outside, making the round trip from Stockton to Darling- 
ton in two hours. The fare was one shilling, and each passenger 
was allowed to take not exceeding fourteen pounds of baggage 

The engine first used on this road is now kept in the 
Darlington station, mounted on a pedestal, and has probably been 
seen by some of those present. 

The Monklands Railway in Scotland, opened in 1826, was 
the first to follow the lead of the Stockton and Darlington. 
Several other small lines worked partly by fixed engines, quickly 
adopted entirely steam traction, but the opening of the Liverpool 
and Manchester Railway in 1829, between the two great cities of 
Liverpool and Manchester, settled the fact that a great revolution 
in the way of travelling and in the transportation of merchandise, 
had actually taken place. 

The years 1829 -1830 are most important ones in the 
history of railroads, not only for the opening of the Liverpool 
and Manchester Railroad, but for the invention and construction 
of the first high speed locomotive, Robert Stephenson's engine 
"Rocket," which was built under competition for the Liverpool 
and Manchester Railroad, and gained the prize awarded by the 
directors, for lightness, power, and speed. This engine weighed 
only 8500 pounds, the tender 6400 pounds, and two loaded 
carriages drawn by it 19,100 pounds, a total of only seventeen 
tons for the entire train, engine, tender and loaded cars. Some 
idea of the lightness of this equipment can be imagined when I 
tell you that we have shifters in Lowell yard that the engine 
alone, without the tender, weighs over fifty tons, engine and 
tender in working order, over seventy-eight tons, or that one of 
the cars of the Canadian Pacific Express which you sometimes 
come from Boston in, at 8.10 p. m., making the run of twenty- 
six miles in thirty-seven minutes, weighs fifty-five tons, or one 
car weighing more than three times as much as the whole train 
and engine referred to. 


This engine, which Stephenson called his perfected engine, 
had two steam cylinders, eight inches in diameter, and sixteen 
and one-half inches stroke, the drive wheels were four feet eight 
and one-half inches in diameter, the pressure of -team carried 
on the boiler was fifty pounds per square inch. An aver; 
speed was attained of fourteen miles per hour, the greatest speed 
twenty-nine miles per hour. This engine had the three principal 
elements of efficiency of the modern locomotive, a water 
surrounded fire-box, a large number of small tubes through the 
boiler in place of one large tube and the blast pipe by which the 
exhaust steam from the cylinders passes out through the sir. k 
stack, thus creating the necessary draft. These improvements 
over his previous engines together with the direct connections 
of the two steam cylinders, one on each side of the engine, with 
one axle and pair of wheels, made of it practically a new and 
original engine. 

To Stephenson, therefore, belongs the credit of having 
invented and used the three most important parts of the locomo- 
tive, which although enlarged upon and perfected still remains 
the same in its essential parts. 

The Rocket's greatest speed was twenty-nine miles per' 
hour, today ninety miles per hour has been reached. Its weight 
with tender was about eight tons, today locomotives with tender 
weigh over one hundred and fifty tons. The steam pressure 
was fifty pounds per square inch, today as high as two hundred 
and fifty pounds is carried. 

America was not long in adopting the ideas of railroads 
which had originated in England, and in 1826 the first railroad 
in this country was built from a quarry in Quincy to the Xeponset 
river in Milton, in this state, for the express purpose of hauling 
granite from the quarry to tide-water, to be shipped to Charles- 
town, Mass., and used in the construction of Bunker Hill monu- 
ment, and it is certainly a most wonderful coincidence that the 
first freight hauled, on the first railroad built in this country, 




was material used in building that monument, which was erected 
to perpetuate the memory of that famous battle which played 
so important a part in the formation of our government. In 
the charter granted by the Legislature in March, 1826, it is stated 
that one of the reasons for building such a track was that it 
would greatly lessen the cost of the monument. 

This railroad was begun in May, 1826, was completed 
and opened in the following October. It was about three and 
one-half miles long, the gauge was three feet, the rails were 
of pine a foot deep covered with oak plates, and these with flat 
bars of iron. The timber rails were later replaced by long 
flat pieces of granite with the flat iron bars fastened on top. 
The cars used for transporting the granite had four wheels, 
nearly eight feet high, the axles were arched, the load was carried 
on a platform about ten feet long by four feet wide. This 
platform was placed on the track and the blocks of granite rolled 
onto it, the wheels were then run over the loaded platform, chains 
were hooked into eye-bolts at the corners of the platform, and 
by a system of wheels and levers the platform was raised and 
suspended between the wheels, the cars ran down from the 
quarry to the wharf by gravity and were hauled back by horse. 
In 1827 a railroad was built in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, 
on the same general plans as the Ouincy Railroad for the pupose 
of hauling coal. This railroad was also operated by horses. 

After the building of these two roads, the advantage of 
such a method of conveying freight seems to have been fully 
recognized, for we find that in the year 1828, two years later, 
charters for railroads were granted in Massachusetts, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina and other 
states. The construction of railroads was soon commenced in 
many places, but it was not until August, 1829, that a locomotive 
was used upon an American railroad, suitable for the carrying 
of passengers. This road was constructed by the Delaware and 
Hudson Canal Company. The experiment was made near 


Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The engine, was imported from Eng- 
land and was named the "Stourbridge Lion." In May, 1830, 
the first division of the Baltimore and Ohio Road was opened 
from. Baltimore to Ellicotts Mills, a distance of fifteen miles. 
There being a scarcity of cars, however, the regular passenger 
business did not begin until July 5th, and then only horse power 
was used and continued in use until the road was finished to 
Frederick, in 1832. 

It is perhaps worthy of mention in these days of con- 
solidation of railroads and change of names, that the names of 
these two roads and the names of the stations between which 
the first trains ran still remain the same. 

The following notice which appeared in the Baltimore 
newspapers was, without doubt, the first time-table for passenger 
railway trains ever published in this country. 


A sufficient number of ears now being provided for 
the accomodation of passengers, notice is hereby given that 
the following arrangements for the arrival and departure of 
carriages, have been adopted, and will take effect on and 
after Monday morning next, the 5th instant, viz. a brigade 
of cars will leave the Depot on Pratt St., at 6: l /> and 10:00 
a. m. and at 3:00 and 4:00 p. in., and will leave the Depot 
at Ellicotts Mills at 6:00 and 8:K a. m. ami at 12 :JJ and 
6:00 p. m. Way passengers will provide themselves with 
tickets at the Offices of the Company, in Baltimore, or at 
the Depots at Pratt St., and Ellicotts Mills, or at the Relay 
Mouse near Elk Ridge Landing. The evening way car for 
Ellicotts Mills will continue to leave the Depot, Pratt St., 
at 6 :oo p. m. as usual. 

X. P>. Positive orders have been issued to the Drivers 
to receive no passengers into any of the cars without tickets. 

P. S. Parties desiring to engage a car for the day 
can be accomodated after July 5th." 

Certainly a peculiar advertisement as compared to theirs 
of today in the Official Railway Guide, where they advertise 
4448 miles of road and over 700 daily passenger trains. 

A passenger train of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, 
now a part of the New York Central System, which was put 
on September 9th, 183 1, between Albany and Schenectady, th^ 

'f- o 


Oi - 





road having been previously run with horses, attracted much 
attention. It was hauled by an English locomotive named the 
"John Bull" and was driven by an English engineer, John 
Hampton. This is generally regarded and referred to as the 
first fully equipped passenger train hauled by a steam power 
engine which ran in regular service in America. During the 
year 1832 it carried an average of three hundred and sixty-seven 
passengers per day. 

The first passenger coaches were patterned after the stage 
coach. They were soon enlarged to a coach about fifteen feet 
long, six and one-half feet wide, four feet nine inches high, 
weighing about 6500 pounds. They were divided into three 
compartments to hold six passengers each or eighteen passengers 
to a coach, and were mounted on four wheels. America, how- 
ever, at an early date departed from the stage 1 coach compart- 
ment idea, and adopted a long car in one compartment with an 
aisle through the middle with seats on either side, which admitted 
of communication through the whole train as at present. 

Wonderful progress was made in the first five years in 
the operation of railways and in the improvement of engines, 
but even then the wildest fancy never dreamed of the speed and 
comforts to be attained in later years. It is related that when 
the line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg was chartered 
in 1835, that the Hon. Simon Cameron, while making a speech 
in favor of the measure, was so far carried away by his enthusiasm 
as to make the prediction in his eloquent manner, "There are 
people within the sound of my voice who will live to see the 
day when a passenger can take his breakfast in Harrisburg and 
his supper in Philadelphia." A friend also in the Legislature 
afterwards reproved him, saying, "That's all very well, Simon, 
to tell the boys, but you and I are not such infernal fools as to 
believe it." They both lived, however, to travel the distance, 
one hundred and three miles, in two hours. 


It was early seen that passengers would want to travel 
in the night to save time, and efforts were made to encourage 
it, and for the convenience of the traveller, and as early as 
1836-37 the Cumberland Valley Railroad, of Pennsylvania, 
fitted up a passenger car with berths for a sleeping car. It was 
crude and primitive in construction, was divided by partitions 
into four sections, each containing three berths, lower, middle 
and upper. It was used until 1848 and then abandoned. 

About this time there were experiments made by several 
roads of fitting up cars with berths like those in steamship 
cabins, but they were all uncomfortable and unsatisfactory, 
although a noted French writer in an article published in Paris 
July 22nd, 1848, describing the cars on the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad as he saw them, says, — "I wish to speak of the interior 
arrangement of these carriages destined to receive travellers 
for the night. They are actually houses where nothing, absolutely 
nothing, is lacking for the necessity of life. They are divided 
into several compartments, some for men, some for women 
alone. Each of these rooms holds six beds or rather little couches 
placed in tiers along the sides. During the day the lower 
couches make excellent sofas." 

In 1858 George M. Pullman began his experiments on 
sleeping cars. In 1864 he perfected his plans for a car that 
was to be a radical departure from anything ever before 
attempted, and that year invested his whole capital in the build- 
ing of what may be called the father of Pullmans. It was built 
in a shed in the yard of the Chicago and Alton Railroad at a 
cost of $18,000. It was very appropriately named "Pioneer." 

Previous to 1849 freight cars had no brakes and those 
on the passenger cars were clumsy and of little service. In 1849, 
however, the Hodge hand brake was introduced and in 1851 
the Stephens brake. These enabled the cars to be controlled 
in a manner that added much to the safety and economy in 
handling trains. It was not until 1869, however, that George 


Westinghouse patented his air brake, so that the train was under 
the control of the engineer, and not until 187 1 was the vacuum 
brake introduced. 

The old link and pin with the wrought iron draw bars 
and platforms of the cars from six inches to a foot apart, arc 
well remembered by most of us with the shaking up we got when 
the engineer took up the slack of a train to start it. The Miller 
coupler and buffer was patented in 1865. This was followed 
by the Janney and others, but many of the roads were slow to 
adopt the air brake, automatic couplers and other improvements, 
for as late as 1873 the old fashioned link and pin between the 
cars, the hand brake, the sheet iron stove and the dim oil lamp 
were in use on many railroads. 

Among the earliest railroads chartered in Massachusetts 
which completed an organization were the Quincy Granite 
Railway Company, March 4th, 1826; the Boston & Lowell, June 
5th, 1830; the Boston & Providence, June 22nd, 1831 ; the 
Boston & Worcester, June 23rd, 183 1 ; the Andover & Wilming- 
ton, (then a branch of the Boston & Lowell, afterwards a part 
of the main line of the Boston & Maine) in 1833; the Norwich & 
Worcester, in 1833; the Nashua & Lowell, in 1836; the Western 
R. R., afterwards the Boston & Albany, in 1S36; and the Eastern 
R. R., in 1836. At the end of 1840 there were only 285 miles 
built and in operation in the state of Massachusetts. 

The following rules of the Eastern Railroad, opened from 
East Boston to Salem in 1838, are particularly interesting. 

"Instruction for Conductors and Engine-men 
while passing over the Road. 


1. The Conductor has sole charge of the Train. He 
will direct the Engine-man, when and where to stop and start. 

2. The running time over the Road will be as near as 
possihle forty minutes, including a stop of two minutes at 
Lynn. If the stop at Lynn should be longer, or any other 
stop should* be made, let the time thus taken be added to the 
forty minutes. 

3. If from any cause a Train should be delayed or 
hindered on the Road, do not attempt to make up the time 


by extra Speed, but let all the time of delay or detention be 
added to the running time. This is a positive Rule. 

4. No Train will start from either depot until the 
arrival of the Train expected from the other depot. 

5. If at any time there is reason to apprehend difti- 
eulty or danger in passing over any part of the Road, the 
train must stop, and a brakeman must be sent ahead to see 
that all is right. Let him take a brakeman's signal, which is 
a white tlag by day and a lantern by night, and give notice 
if it be safe for the Train to go on. 

6. When anything shall happen to a train to render 
assistance necessary, let a brakeman be despatched to the 
nearest point for assistance, and let him get on horseback 
as soon as possible. Let no conductor leave his train. The 
masters of the Depots will send what assistance is required, 
as soon as notified of difficulty : — and in all cases of difficulty 
let the Superintendent be notified as soon as possible. 

7. It shall be the duty of the conductor, as much as 
he can consistently with his duties in attending to the Tickets, 
to keep a lookout for difficulty or clangers upon the Road, 
in all directions. He will see that no object projects into the 
Road in any point, and when discovered have them removed. 

(S. The head brakeman and baggage master will tend 
the brake on the car next the Engine, and vvijil seat himself 
back to the Engine, keeping a good lookout to the rear of 
the train. He will carry a whistle, which he will blow when- 
ever it becomes necessary for the Engine to stop or whenever 
he is notified to do so by the conductor. This signal will be 
answered by the Engine-man with his whistle, which shall 
be the signal for applying all the brakes. There must always 
be a brakeman on the hind car. 

9. Conductors and Engine-men will daily compare 
and regulate their time at the Depots. 

10. The Conductor will, at Salem and Boston, 
examine the bearings of the cars, ami a brakeman. to be 
chosen by the conductor, will do the same at the intermediate 
stopping places, and see that all is right. 


1. Run very carefully by the turnouts to the gravel 
pits, and be sure the track is clear before attempting to go by. 

2. Run very carefully over all the bridges, and not at 
a speed greater than ten miles per hour. And be very careful 
at the draws that all is right. The signal to stop, to lie made 
by the man tending the draws, is a display of a reel flag by 
day and a lantern by night, five hundred feet before you 
come to the bridge. You will be furnished with a copy of 
the instructions to the draw tenders, which you will carefully 

3. Trains will at all times move around curves care- 
fully, and with a good lookout. The Engine Bell used at 
intervals of time, until the Engine has passed. from the curve 
onto the straight line. 

4. The Engine-bell will be sounded when a train is 
within eighty rods of a crossing (which it wilf approach 
slowly) and continue to be sounded until the train occupies 
the crossing. 


5. It shall be the duty of the Engine-man to keep a 
good lookout ahead, and whenever he shall see cause to stop 
the train, ur slaken the speed, he shall -hut off the steam and 
blow his whistle, which must be the signal lor applying all 
the brakes. 

6. Netting over the smoke pipes will always be 
fastened down while an Engine is running over the Road. 

7. Switches will be passed at a rate of speed not to 
exceed eight miles an hour. 

8. The crossing at Market Street will be passed 
particularly slowly. 


If at any time a Train should not arrive at either 
depot, in one hour from the time of its starting from the 
other, the Master of the Depot will immediately start uii 
horseback to learn the cause of the delay. When at the 
Train delayed, he will render all necessary assistance,, under 
the direction of the Conductor of the delayed Train, who 
wdl have the charge of the Train as before. 




Directions for the man at Saugus River Draw 
and Chelsea Creek. 

Be careful always to be at the draw at the time of the 
passing of the Trains, when all is right. 

Whenever the draw is up, or out of order in any way, 
or there is any difficulty in any part of the Bridge, then go 
off at least five hundred feet from the end of the Bridge, in 
the direction from whence the cars are expected, and display 
conspicuously a Red Flag by day and a Lantern by night, 
on a staff at least eight feet long, waving it as a signal for 
the Engine-man to stop, and then explain to the Conductor 
L of the Train the nature of the difficulty." 

George Stephenson's wonderful invention and success in 
England had hardly got noised abroad when the mill owners 
of Lowell began to investigate the subject of the transportation 
of freight between their mills and Boston. The report of the 
committee appointed to investigate the matter is quite long and 
interesting, and gives several items of peculiar interest. From 
data collected from the Middlesex Canal and the freight carriers 
who teamed freight over the road, and from the stage coach 
lines, it was calculated that three engines and twenty cars would 
meet the demands of Lowell for an indefinite number of years. 
« ' The late James B. Francis, in a paper read to this Society 

I* May 7th, 1874, referring to the teaming over the road, says at 

the time of the opening of the Boston & Lowell Railroad, there 


were from forty to forty-five stages, arriving and departing 
daily from Lowell, employing from 250 to 300 horses, and that 
150 of them were in service between Lowell and Boston, the 
freight rates were from $2.50 to $4.00 per ton, the ^tage 
fare $1.25. 

The committee estimated that the railroad would carry 
15,247 tons of freight between the two cities annually. The 
revenue for this would be $30,434 a year, and that the gross 
receipts for passengers would be $28,089 a year, a luVdl revenue 
figured on of $58,523. 

In 1907 the number of ton^ of Lowell freight hauled 
between Boston and Lowell, was 391,728 tons, against the esti- 
mate of 15,247 tons. In 1907 the receipts for passengers be- 
tween the two cities was about $300,000, as against the $28,089 
estimated by the committee. In the year 1908, the total receipts 
at the Lowell station were about $2,000,000 as against the com- 
mittee's estimate of $58,523 per year. It should be borne in mind 
however, that this two million dollars is not all earnings, the 
local road receiving but a small proportion of the large charges 
on cotton from the South, grain and lumber from the North and 
West, and all rail coal from the mines. I simply mention these 
figures to show the difference between the business of today and 
the estimate of seventy-five years ago. 

The employees which the committee deemed necessary 
for the road were one Superintendent at $1500 per year, a Clerk 
at $500 per year, two warehouse men and two clerks at each 
city, whose salaries would amount to $1500 per year, two 
engineers at two dollars per day and two tenders at one dollar 
per day, which would make the total salary list $5,372 per year. 
At the present time there are about five hundred railroad men 
residing in Lowell, and the payroll for the Lowell station (290) 
is over $200,000 per year. 

It was estimated that the road would cost $400,000, but 
the directors to insure a first class, well built road decided to 


raise $600,000. Before the road was completed, however, it had 
cost $1,800,000, or about $60,000 per mile. 

The petition for the charter presented in 1829 and finally 
granted, largely through the influence of Massachusetts' greatest 
statesman, Daniel Webster, provided, among other things, that 
no other railroad should be built parallel with it for thirty years, 
and provided for a seventy-live cent fare. The granting of the 
charter was bitterly opposed by the proprietors of the Middlesex 
Canal, who had already invested in their property about one 
million and a half dollars, a remonstrance dated Boston, February 
1 2th, 1830, signed by William Sullivan, Joseph Coolidge and 
George Hallet, a committee chosen to represent the interests of 
the Canal Company, was presented to the Legislature, and recites 
among other things, that the business establishments of Lowell 
have availed themselves of the canal, for the transportation of 
all articles, except in the winter months ; that it is believed no 
safer or cheaper mode of conveyance can ever be established, 
nor any so well adapted to carrying heavy and bulky articles; 
that there is a supposed source of revenue to a railroad from 
carrying passengers, but that passengers are now carried at all 
hours as rapidly and safely as they are anywhere else in the 
world, and add that the use of a railroad for passengers only, 
has been tested by experience nowhere, and that it remains to 
be known whether this is a mode of conveyance which will com- 
mand general confidence and approbation. The remonstrants 
also further add that so far as they know and believe, there 
can never be a sufficient inducement to extend a railroad from 
Lowell westwardly and northwestwardly so as to make it 
a great avenue to and from the interior, but that its termination 
must always be at Lowell ; that it is only a substitute for the 
modes of transportation now in use between Lowell and Boston, 
and cannot deserve patronage from the supposition that it is 
to be more extensively used ; that there was no such exigency 
as warranted the granting of the prayer for a Railroad to and 


from Lowell, and if the prayer was granted, the remonstrants 
should be indemnified for the losses which will be thereby 
occasioned them. 

Regardless of the remonstrants and the arguments 

used against it, the charter was granted, and any compensation 
to the Canal Company refused. The fears of the owners of 
the canal that the railroad would destroy their property, were 
fully justified, for the year that the Boston & Lowell Railroad 
went into full operation, the receipts of the Canal Company 
were reduced one-third, and with the Nashua and Lowell Rail- 
road in full operation, in 1840, they were further reduced 
another third. The managers of the Canal Company fought 
a good battle with the railroads, reducing the tariff on all articles, 
and almost abolishing it on some, to hold the business, until their 
expenses were larger than the receipts. But the steam rail- 
road came out victorious and the canal was finally discontinued 
in 1846. 

The Boston and Lowell, our own railroad, is generally 
considered to have been the second railroad to be put in operation 
in New England, the Quincy Granite Road being the first, 
although the Boston and Providence, and Boston and Worcester 
also began operating in 1835. The roa( l was chartered June 5, 
1830, and the building of it commenced at once. The con- 
struction of the road bed was a much greater undertaking and 
achievement than it would be at the present time, the grading 
was all done by ox-teams and hand labor, the blasting by hand 
drills and common powder, and when one thinks of the old cut 
at the Middlesex Street Station, the famous Six Arch Bridge 
at the Concord River, and the Tunnel at Walnut Hill, all built 
without the help of steam power or modern conveniences, and 
those walls laid up so long ago of small stone without mortar 
or cement, the magnitude of the undertaking seems greater even 
than the recent building of the Subway in Boston. The entire 
road bed was completed, including all bridges and culverts, lie- 

Six Arch Bridge Showing Old Stone Sleepe 

Section of Track Showing Fislt Helix Raih 


fore a rail was laid. The first rails used were the "fish belly" 
rails before referred to. They were rolled in England, were 
fifteen and eighteen feet long - , and were laid on stone binders, 

or sleepers, which rested at each end on stone walls, set three 
feet deep to avoid the frost affecting the track. 

It was thought necessary to build the track with such 
exact nicety that the stone sleepers were laid on top of the walls 
referred to, as nearly level as possible, exactly three feet apart 
and the top of the sleeper cut to a flat surface where the chair, 
holding the rail, was spiked on by drilling a hole in the sleeper, 
putting in a wooden plug and then driving the spike which held 
the chair into the wood. The rail was fastened into the chair 
by iron wedges driven in on the side of the rail, and whenever 
a quarter of a mile or so had been completed, machinists from 
the Locks and Canals Shops would go along with a steel straight- 
edge and if the rails did not match to the thickness of a sheet 
of paper, they would cut them away with cold chisels and files 
until they were exactly the same height. Thousands of dollars 
were thus uselessly spent in this and various other ways, as 
afterwards proved, but these things only show how thoroughly 
everything was done in those days, and how little was under- 
stood of what was actually necessary for a railroad track. The 
road bed was laid out, graded, and made wide enough for a 
double track, but at first only one track was laid. Work was 
begun at both ends, Boston and Lowell, at about the same time, 
and by a curious mistake each end commenced laying the right 
hand track, so that when they came together, a long connection 
had to be made from one side of the road bed to the other. The 
building of the road occupied about four years, and on Wednes- 
day, May 27th, 1835, the rails were used for the first time. The 
engine named "Stephenson" was built by the Robert Stephenson 
Company at New Castle Upon-Tyne, England, in 1834. It 
was taken apart at Boston. loaded upon a canal boat, and brought 

to Lowell bv the Middlesex Canal, whose usefulness it was so 




soon to destroy. Here it was set up again and the trial trip 

was made from this end. As to why this was done instead of 

running it from Boston on its own rails, I have been unable to 

learn, but it was probably because the promoters of the great 

undertaking resided in Lowell. Whatever the reason, it has 

given to Lowell the distinction and honor of having the fir-t 

steam engine start out of its borders for a run of any considerable 

length, of any city in New England. On that memorable trip 

the train carried three passengers, Patrick T. Jackson, Agent 

during the construction, George W. Whistler, :;: Chief Engineer 

at the Locks and Canals Shops, and James F. Baldwin, the Civil 

Engineer who had surveyed the road. They made the run to 

Boston, twenty-six miles, in the astonishing time of one hour 

and seventeen minutes, and the return trip with twenty-four 

passengers in one hour and twenty minutes without stops. The 

train was sent back to Boston where it remained four weeks. 

The latter part of the next month, notice appeared in various 

newspapers as follows : 

"June 23, 1835. 

Tomorrow, June 24th, cars will commence running 
between Boston and Lowell, leave Lowell at 6:00 and g:*/2 
a. m., leave Boston at 3:^ and 5:* 2 p. m. The Company 
expects to run another engine next week. Additional trains 
will be put on as fast as the public require. Due notice will 
be given when the merchandise train will be put on. Fare 
$1.00, tickets at corner Leverett and Brighton Streets, Boston, 

George M. Dexter, Agent." 

On the following day, Wednesday June 24th, the old 
fashioned '"lection day," the road was opened for public travel. 

The engines and cars of those early days were strange 
things in comparison with the equipment of today. The engines 
weighing from seven to nine tons, had four large wheels, the 
boilers were encased in wooden lagging painted bright colors 
with black band and stripes, smoke stacks eight to ten inches in 
diameter and six to seven feet tall like a chimney. No whistle 
was provided on the first engines, and the bells which were small 
*Father of the artist James Abbott McNeil Whistler. 




were near the engineer and rang with a short cord. Nor was 
there any cab or protection for the engineer or fireman, they 
were fully exposed to the smoke and sparks from their own 
engine and to the inclemencies of the New England weather. 
The cars were modeled after the old stage coach and seated six 
persons. The conductor, sometimes called captain, rode on the 
outside without any shelter, in what on the stage coach would 
be the driver's seat, and on the rear coach looking backward 
in a similar seat, rode a brakeman. The conductor was pro- 
vided with a whistle which he blew to signal the engineer. 

The first conductor was John Barrett, a native, and the 
first engineer, one William Robinson, an Englishman who was 
imported with the engine and is referred to as aw "English 
Dandy," who lost no opportunity to impose upon the patience 
and credulity of the Yankees. Tie was not very particular about 
train time, would saunter up to the depot an hour after his train 
was due to start, carelessly look around upon the waiting 
passengers, deliberately look over his engine, mount the plat- 
form, put on his kid gloves and in his own good time and 
pleasure start his train toward Boston. He would also suddenly 
stop his engine when he got nearly to a station, jump down, 
look the engine over anxiously, crawl under it, remove a nut 
from some bolt, look it over and put it back on again. The 
next day the papers would have an account of how the engine 
had broken down on the way, etc., but had been skillfully re- 
paired by Engineer Robinson. It was not long, however, before 
the management caught on, and he was replaced by a skilled 
mechanic from the Locks and Canals Locomotive Works, from 
which source the engineers required were obtained for many 
years. The pay in those days was $66.66 per month for con- 
ductors and engineers, and $30 per month for brakemen and 

June 30th, 1835, the first engine built in Lowell was put 
upon the rails, and the naming of this engine caused quite a con- 


troversy, the first intention being to name it "Jackson" after 
Mr. Patrick T. Jackson, the former Agent, but it being at the 
time of President's Jackson's political supremacy, the prevailing 
Whig element of the management refused to allow the name 
on political grounds, so that the, to them, grave and important 
question was compromised and the engine was named "The 
Patrick." On July 1st, the second engine was completed in 
the Locks and Canals Shops and was named "Lowell." July 
5th, the merchandise train or as we now call it, freight train. 
was put on. The "Stephenson" engine was transferred to this 
train and the home built engines, the "Patrick" and "Lowell." 
were put into the passenger train service. The conductor of the 
second passenger train was named Williards, who was followed 
in a few months, on account of a slight accident in the yard, by 
J. E. Short. The conductor of the first freight train was Calvin 
Stevens. The train consisted of fourteen cars carrying about 
three and one-half tons of freight to the car, or less than fifty 
tons for the entire train. More weight than was carried on 
this train is now hauled in one car. The cars in those days 
were about the size of our small four wheel coal cars, and in 
reality were simply a platform mounted on four wheels, part of 
them with a top and sides, and part without, and for a great 
many years most of the cotton brought to Lowell was brought 
on these platform cars with canvas covers fastened down by 
ropes tied in staples or rings at the corners and sides of the car. 
In the very early days the freight conductor had prac- 
tically unlimited control of the merchandise he hauled, deliver- 
ing it himself and collecting the charges himself and turning 
it into the company. The first ticket agent at the Merrimack 
Street Station was a Mr. Long, and his duties were about as 
free from the oversight of others as the freight conductor's. He 
not only sold the tickets, but after selling them went out to the 
carriages, as they were then called, and picked them up again 
as the passengers got aboard. It will be observed that although 




the charter provided that the fare should be seventy-five cents, 
the company's advertisement, published the day before the road 
was opened, charged one dollar. The matter was arranged to 
meet the requirements of the law, also to evade them for the 
company's benefit and profit, by putting on a second class car 
with no protection whatever except the top, the sides and ends 
were open to the weather, the seats simply boards, the car being 
made as cheap and uncomfortable as possible. In this car the 
fare was seventy-five cents while in the other cars, or first class 
cars as they were called, the fare was one dollar. Evidently 
there was need of a "Big Stick" in those days to keep the rail- 
roads up to the spirit and intent of the law as well as now. 
This second class car was nick-named "Belvidere" and was 
always known by that name. Second class cars evidently ran 
for many years, although the fare was reduced below the 
chartered limit, for, in an advertisement published in 1850, 
fifteen years after the opening of the road, we find season tickets 
between Lowell and Boston, three month for $25, six months 
$45, and one year $80. The fare to Boston was sixty-five cents, 
second class fare forty-five cents. 

The freight tariff reads, — "Merchandise generally to 
Boston $1.25 per 2000 lbs., merchandise by cargoes $1.10 per 
2000 lbs. Pig iron, lime, cement, plaster, slate, dyewood in the 
stick, flour and grain, oil and coarse salt in lots of three tons 
at cargo prices." This advertisement gives the depot at the 
corner of Merrimack and Dalton* streets. 

The Nashua and Lowell advertise that their depot in 
Lowell is at Middlesex street; that the general offices are at 
Nashville Passenger Station, that the fare to Nashville is forty 
cents, season tickets for three months $15, distance fifteen miles. 

From 1835 to 1842, a period of seven years, there were 
built in the Locks and Canals shops the following nine engines 
which went onto the Boston and Lowell and Nashua and Lowell 

; Dalton Street is now known as Dutton Street. 



Railroads. The Patrick, Lowell, Boston, with brass wheels, 
Merrimack, built with wooden wheels but soon replaced with 
iron ones, Nashua, Concord, Suffolk and Med ford. These were 
all of the same general style, weighing about nine tons, five 
foot drivers, eleven inch cylinders and fourteen inch stroke. 

In 1848, thirteen years after the opening of the road, the 
double track was completed. The second track was laid with 
T rails three and one-half inches high weighing fifty-six pounds 
per yard, and as soon as it was ready for use, the old track 
was also relaid with T rails. Special care was enjoined upon 
the workmen by the management in the laying of these second 
tracks, because they were soon to put three fourteen ton engines 
on the road which would tax the track to the utmost. The 
three new engines were named Samson, Hercules and Goliath, 
their names presumably to indicate their great size and strength. 
Two years later, two really large and powerful engines also 
built in Lowell, were put into service, the "Baldwin" and 
"Whistler," one with five foot six inch drivers, the other five 
foot nine inch drivers. On the evening of March 27th, 1850, 
the "Whistler" with twelve cars driven by Isaac Hall, engineer, 
made the run from Lowell to Boston in twenty-eight minutes. 

These were the first large engines in use on the road and 
Mr. Alden I. Gifford, now foreman of the engine-house on 
Howard Street, who commenced with the company in the 
Locomotive Department, November 1st, 1851, has run as en- 
gineer not only both these engines, but also the Patrick, the 
second engine put into service in 1835. 

Iri September, 1908, an automobile race was held in 
Lowell which attracted several thousand people to our city to 
witness the sport, but nearly sixty years ago or in the Fall of 
1850 a far more novel and important race was held here, it 
being a test of locomotives both for speed and strength. At 
that time there was a great rivalry between the various roads 
and locomotive builders as to which was the best type of engine, 


which the fastest, which the strongest, etc. This meet lasted 
for several clays. Engines came from all directions, from other 
roads and from builders. There were of all kinds and classes, 
from the little combination engine and tender to the largest and 
heaviest engine then built. Some of the engines had foot 
brakes, the engineer and fireman standing on the foot piece, 
their weight being the only pressure to stop the engine. Some 
of the engines had only one pair of drive wheels, others two, 
and even three pairs. There were engines with outside cylinders, 
engines with inside cylinders, driving wheels with crank axles, 
with straight axles and eccentrics, some with small smoke stacks 
and others almost as large in diameter as the boilers of the 
engines themselves. One engine which attracted much attention 
had driving wheels seven feet in diameter. < 

James G. Marshall and Mr, Gi fiord, who remember the 
afTair say, and I think truly, that Lowel\ never, before or since, 
saw such a motley group. 

The test for speed was made between Lowell and Wil- 
mington and was won by an engine from the Boston and Provi- 
dence Railroad, a Mr. Griggs, the master mechanic. 

The test for strength was won by one of our own engines, 
the "Milow," Mr. King, master mechanic. 

The prizes were gold medals about the size of a twenty 
dollar gold piece, and were very highly prized by the railroads 
that won them. 

The first station in Boston was at the foot of Lowell 
street. This station was occupied from 1835 to July 30th, 1857, 
when the headquarters were removed to the present site on 
Causeway street. The station occupied in 1857 was built under 
Mr. William Parker. Sixteen years later General Stark built the 
station which is now the southerly part of the Union Station, 
over the station of 1857, and then tore the old station down. 
The station built by General Stark was opened in December, 
1873. At that time I was a telegraph operator on the Eastern 



Railroad, and I remember that lie was severely criticised by 
many people who considered the station altogether too large and 

expensive, and something that would not be wanted and fully 
occupied for many years. It was commonly referred to as 
Stark's folly, but time has proved that he not only built well, 
but wisely. 

The first station in Lowell, was built near Merrimack 
street, on the site of Old Huntington J fall, where was also 
located the first freight house and freight yard. The station 
was of wooden frame construction, and like many buildings in 
those days, was ornamented by large pillars. The general offices 
of the company were in this building when the road was first 

On Hie left is the first depot in Lowell, on the right the Merrimack House 
From an old cut published 1S36 

The road having been built principally for the trans- 
portation of material to and from the manufacturing cor- 
porations, side tracks were constructed when the road was built 
to the following corporations: the Merrimack Manufacturing 
Company, the Hamilton Manufacturing Company, the Appleton 
Company, the Lowell Manufacturing Company, the Suffolk 
Mills, the Tremont Mills, the Lawrence Manufacturing Com- 
pany and the Boott Mill's, and the freight to and from these mills 
has been handled from their very doors from the beginning of 


the operation of the road. The engine house, machine and re- 
pair shops, car house and car repair shops were for many years 
located in Jackson street, between the present tracks to the 
Hamilton and Appleton corporations and the canal. For a great 
many years all locomotives burned wood, and the wood yard 
was also located on the banks of the canal in Jackson street 
and the wood delivered from up country by canal boats right 
to the yard. The building on Fletcher street now occupied by 
the Omaha Packing Company, was the second freight house of 
the Boston and Lowell Railroad and the building now occupied 
by T. J. McDonald, at the corner of Fletcher and Dutton streets, 
was the Nashua and Lowell freight house, both being used in 
their present location. 

The brick building at the end of Dutton 'street, now 
occupied by the Nichols Foundry Company, was the engine 
house and repair shop of the Nashua and Lowell and Stony 
Brook Railroads. 

In 1853, by a joint agreement between the City of Lowell 
and the Boston and Lowell Railroad, the city wanting a public 
hall, and the railroad company desiring larger quarters, the com- 
bined Huntington Hall and Merrimack Street Station so familiar 
to us all was built and was occupied as a railroad station until 
its destruction by fire, November 6th, 1904. The original station 
which had been occupied twenty-eight years was moved, part 
of it up near Fletcher street, where it was used for many years 
as a passenger car house, it being thought necessary in those 
days to keep passenger cars housed when they were not in actual 
use, as we do a carriage. The office part of the old station was 
sold to John O'Connor, who had lost both legs through an 
accident on the road. This was moved to what is now the 
corner of Fletcher and Dutton streets where it served for a dwell- 
ing house. It was afterwards raised up and a story put under 


it, now occupied as a drug store, the upper part still being the 
home of Mrs. Calvert and Miss O'Connor, daughters of John 

On the 8th day of September, 1838, the Nashua and 

Lowell Railroad commenced running trains between Nashua 

and Lowell. Their main line was along Dutton street, the tracks 
now used for freight tracks to the corporations, the terminus 
in Lowell, being the Boston & Lowell depot at Merrimack street. 
The Nashua and Lowell engines were cut off the trains above 
Market street, the trains switched into the depot, then the Boston 
and Lowell engine backed onto the train and hauled it to Boston. 
As this reversed the train, the passengers were obliged to get 
up and turn over the seats or ride to Boston backwards. On 
the return trip from Boston the same operation- had to be gone 
through before the train started for Nashua. At this time there 
were three trains each way daily between Lowell and Nashua, 
leaving Nashua at 8:j/ a. m. and 1.00 and -i:|j p. m., and leaving 
Lowell at S: l / 2 and 11 :oo a. m. and 4:00 p. m. The Boston and 
Lowell was running three trains each way daily leaving Boston 
for Lowell at 7:00 and 9:^ a. m. and 3:00 p. m., and leaving 
Lowell for Boston at 9:^2 a. m., 3 :oo and 5 \ l / 2 p. m. The Boston 
and Lowell time table further adds, — "The 9:^ and 3:00 trains 
will stop at the usual places and will convey passengers [between 
Lowell, Andover and Haverhill." 

Two years later, October, 1840, there were four trains 
each way between Lowell and Boston, a train leaving Boston at 
11:00 a. m. and Lowell at the same hour having been added. 
I have been unable to find any time-table which gives the arriving 
time at destination of any of these trains, but as the 8:10 train 
from Nashua left Lowell for Boston at 9:^2 the 1:00 at 3:00, 
and the 4:>4 at 5:^2 o'clock, it will be seen that the time from 
leaving Nashua to leaving Lowell was one hour on two of the 
trains, and two hours on the other, certainly not a quick time 






to travel fourteen miles. By daily trains in those time-tables 

is evidently meant week days, for in those days no trains were 
run on Sundays. 

Prior to 1846 the site of the Middlesex Street Station 
was a swampy bog-hole which had to be filled in before the 
station was built. At that time there was practically nothing 
west of the present station but vacant land. There had been 
for some time a stopping place for trains at the junction of 
Thorndike and Middlesex streets, and a small shed-like station. 
The Middlesex Street Station which was demolished in 1894 to 
make room for the present one, was begun in 1846 and finished 
about two years later, and when completed was a most imposing 
structure for the times. The second story was fitted up for 
offices, and after the Boston and Lowell and Nashua and Lowell 
separated in October, 1878, the offices were used' for the general 
offices of the Nashua and Lowell Railroad until the road was 
again leased to the Lowell, about two years later. 

In 1846 the Nashua & Lowell Railroad petitioned the 
Massachusetts legislature for a charter, to run their tracks from 
near Western Avenue southerly across the canal where the main 
line is now located. At that time it was their intention to build 
an independent line to Boston, but the charter of the Boston & 
Lowell provided that no parallel line should be built for thirty 
years, and they only got as far as a connection with the Boston 
and Lowell, south of the Middlesex Street Station. This section 
of the road was opened in 1848 at the time the old Middlesex 
Street Station was completed, and must have been a great con- 
venience to all travel to and from the north, which for ten years 
had been obliged to go down to the Merrimack Street Depot and 
back as previously referred to. After the completion of this 
piece of track and the Middlesex Street Station, the local trains 
of the Boston and Lowell ran on the east side of the station to 
Merrimack street. The through trains of the Boston and Lowell 

and the trains of the Nashua and Lowell and of the Stony Brook 



Railroads on the west side, while the trains of the Salem and 
Lowell and Lowell and Lawrence Railroads, ran into the station 
at the southerly end. The trains of all these roads used the two 
tracks through the cut smith of the station. This cut was through 
solid ledge six hundred feet long, was thirty feet wide at the 
bottom, gradually widening slightly to the top, and about fort)' 
feet in depth in the deepest place. The Chelmsford street bridge 
had a span of twenty-eight feet and was forty-six feet long. 
This cut and bridge, built in 1834, was considered at the time one 
of the most wonderful pieces of engineering in this country. In 
1879 the widening of the cut to its present dimensions, allowing 
for the four tracks and platform, was commenced, and completed 
in j8(So. In 1881 the switch tower and system of interlocking 
switches, handled by levers in the tower at the southerly end of 
the new platform was opened. The lion. I locum Hosford, at 
that time general manager of the road, had been travelling in 
England and on the continent where he saw the advantages of 
this method of handling traffic in a congested yard, and con- 
tracted for the installation of this tower- soon after his return. 

This switch tower was the first successful one opened in 
this country, and the prejudice was so strong against it among 
railroad men and officials that, although completed in 1881, and 
used to some extent, it was not officially opened until December 
26th, 1882. This tower handled about thirty switches and its 
advantages over hand switches were very soon demonstrated, 
and today, only twenty-six years later, every large railroad yard 
in this country is equipped with tower switches and signals. 

Mr. James P. Ramsey, now probation officer, who had 
previously had experience in towers in England, assisted in in- 
stalling it, and for twenty years was foreman of the tower after 
it was put into operation. 

At the end of the year 1830, seventy-eight years ago, 
there were forty miles of steam railroads in the United States. 
At the end of 1841, eleven years later, there were 3361 miles, at 



the end of 1847 there were 5206 miles, and at the end of 1854, 
only fifty-five years ago, there were only 27,745 miles. It will 
he seen from these figures that the growth of the railroads for 
the first seventeen years averaged only about 300 miles per year, 
and for the first twenty-four years averaged only about 1 100 
miles per year, and was very slow as compared to that of the 
period from 1865 to 1890, when the great railroads to the Pacific 
coast, to the south and the northwest were built. Nevertheless 
when we take into consideration the lack of experience, the 
prejudice against railroads, the fear of investing capital in an 
unknown business, the tools and facilities they had to work, in 
fact the lack of almost every convenience now used, the growth 
and extension of the first few years seems little short of mar- 

Lowell is the terminus of seven railroads, although they 
are now under only two managements. The Boston and Lowell, 
opened June 24th, 1835, the Nashua and Lowell, opened October 
8th, 1838, the Lowell and Lawrence, opened July 1st, 1848, the 
Stony Brook, opened July 1st, 1848, the Salem and Lowell, 
opened August 1st, 1850, and the Lowell and Andover, opened 
December 1st, 1874. These are all now a part of the Boston 
and Maine System. 

The Framingham and Lowell Railroad was opened August 
22nd, 1872, and is now a part of the New York, New Haven and 
Hartford System. 

The intention of this paper was to get together some in- 
formation in regard to the'early days of railroading that I hoped 
would be of interest to you, btit the growth of this part of the 
world's business and wealth has been of such magnitude that 
a few words in closing as to what railroads are today, may not 
be out of place. 

At the present time there are in our own state of Massa- 
chusetts 2710 miles of main lines and branches, including second, 


third and fourth tracks and side tracks, reckoned as single 
track, there are 4618 miles. In Lowell there are about 56 miles. 

The aggregate capital stock of the thirty-seven Massa- 
chusetts railroad corporations, June 30th, 1908, was $235,462,290, 
the number of employees was 67,435, and the amount of dividends 
paid by these thirty-seven companies for the year was $17,883,965. 
It will be of interest perhaps to know that the largest system 
in the United States in mileage whose operations are embodied 
in a single report, is the Chicago, Burlington and Ouincy Rail- 
road Company, owning 8,607.07 miles and operating 8,875.07 
miles. The capitalization of this company is $110,839,100 in 
stock and $168,690,000 in bonds, a total capital of $279,529,100 
for one company. 

As large as these figures seem to read them, we can per- 
haps better realize the immensity of the railroad business in this 
country from the following figures. At the close of the year 
ending June 30th, 1907, there was in the United States, not in- 
cluding Alaska and Hawaii, a total mileage of 229,951.19 miles 
of steam railroads, or enough if put in one line to go almost ten 
times around the world. The total amount of capital outstanding 
was $7,356,861,691 in stock, and $8,725,284,992 of funded debt, 
a total of capital invested of $16,082,146,683. 

The total number of employees reported in the service 
was 1,672,074, or fifty-one for each one hundred miles of road. 
The total number of locomotives in use was 55,388, or 243 per 
each 1000 miles of road operated. The total number of cars in 
use was 2,126,594, or about 9,250 per. each 1000 miles of road 

The total earnings for the year were $2,875,689,520, the 
passenger revenue being about 22 per cent., the freight revenue 
about 71 per cent., the other 7 per cent, from various minor 
sources. The number of passengers carried for the year was 
873,905,138. The number of tons of freight carried for the year 
was 1,796,336,659. The amount paid in wages and salaries to 


employees and officers was $1,036,661,509. The amount paid 
in dividends was $308,088,627. 

These statistics might he continued as to the number of 
employees in each class, number of each kind of car and each 
kind of locomotive, division of earnings, wages paid each class 
of employees, etc., but the figures given will enable us to realize 
in a general way what the railroads of this country really are, 
what an army of men are employed, and what a power fur de- 
velopment and advancement, for good or for evil this great 
aggregation of capital and employees can be made by the few 
men who practically dictate the policies of the railroads of this 
country today. 

From the little Quincy Granite Road, three and one-half 
miles long to the 230,000 miles of today, with, a value built up of 
over sixteen billions of dollars in the short space of eighty-three 
years, what will the next similar period of time bring forth ? It 
is as much beyond our comprehension as was the present to our 

h f 



The Battle of Bunker Hill and Those Who Participated 
Therein From the Towns From Which Lowell was 
Formed. By Mrs. Sara Swan Griffin-. Read May 
12, 1909. 

The story of the Battle of Bunker Hill has been told until 
it has become more familiar to its American readers and audi- 
ences than any other conflict of the Revolution. In truth, the 
deeds of the knights of the "great days of old," riding forth to 
redress all wrong, have not been the theme of more historic 
tales and songs of valor. And no more chivalrous spirit incited 
the hearts of the Knights of King Arthur's Round Table, as 
they sallied forth to defend the faith and honor of their country, 
than fired the hearts of our plain countrymen, as they offered 
themselves a willing sacrifice on the altar of freedom, one hun- 
dred and thirty-four years ago. 

No subsequent battle of the Revolution possesses an 
equal interest with this early struggle lor independence and 
liberty. The unparalleled audacity of the seizure of the heights 
of Charlestown, in the presence of a numerous and powerful 
army and fleet of the British, the firmness with which the 
Americans awaited the attack, the terrible loss inflicted on the 
enemy unexampled on any later battlefield of the Revolution, 
and, finally, the curious spectacle of undisciplined men without 
a leader known and respected as such, contesting with a veteran 
army and experienced officers, are marked features that have 
rendered the Battle of Bunker Hill, for all time, a grand and 
memorable deed. While the story of this battle has been told 
by so many people and in such complete detail that it is not 
possible in this paper to offer any new facts in regard to the 
battle, yet it may be possible to present oft-told ones in such an 
order as to assist in a better understanding of both the causes 
and effects of the conflict. 


' • 


The people in all the English speaking colonies in 
America had for many years been growing restive under the 
exactions and restrictions imposed by the arbitrary ministry of 
George III, and after the passage of the Boston Port Bill in 
1774, and other kindred measures, a sullen obedience gave way 
to a passive resistance on the part of the people, which was 
succeeded, as the preparations of the British government to 
enforce their demands became more evident, by a resolution to 
oppose force with force, and carefully and systematically the 
colonists endeavored to provide the necessary means for success- 
ful opposition. 

Early in 1774, in the annals of nearly all the towns of 
Massachusetts, will be found records of votes to buy powder, 
to provide Hints and bullets, to organize the militia, to raise 
"Minute Men" whose duty it should be to respond instantly to 
any alarm that the British troops were to make any demonstra-* 
tion to leave Boston; and most important of all, to choose "Com- 
mittees of Correspondence" who should keep in touch with 
committees of other towns, and assist in the spread of knowledge 
of things concerning the welfare of the colonies. 

After the British governor, General Gage, had dissolved 
the "Assembly" in 1774 and declared it a "treasonable body," 
and the Assembly immediately adjourning to Concord, passed 
resolutions declaring General Gage an enemy of the province 
and advising against recognizing his authority in any way, there 
was absolutely no one central power in Massachusetts. Hut 
the state resembled a collection of small republics, bound to- 
gether only by a common interest against a common oppressor. 
Such was the condition at the time of the Lexington alarm, 
April 19th, 1775, the events of which are familiar to us all. 

But before the alarm and excitement of that battle had 
passed away, it had become the unanimous judgment of the 
people of this state that the English ministry had finally begun 
a War of Oppression, and that Middlesex Comity was to be the 


scene of the first war-like resistance of the American colonies, 
and even while the fighting was going on, on the memorable 
19th of April, up and down the historic highway, messengers 

were dispatched over the great routes, to Connecticut, Rhode 
Island and New Hampshire, with the news that war had actually 

Every town, every obscure village, reached was in turn 

The entire population sprang to arms, nor were those 
whose kindred had been slaughtered at Lexington more de- 
termined to avenge the blood poured out there; than were their 
sympathizing brethren in the other colonies of Xew England. 

The Provincial Congress met almost immediately after 
the Battle of Lexington and Joseph Warren was elected presi- 
dent pro tempore. It was resolved that Massachusetts should 
raise an army of 13,000 men immediately. 

Circulars were sent out to the different towns of this 
state by the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, elected about 
this time, calling out the militia and urging by all means the 
enlistment of men to form the army, and to send them forward 
without delay to the camp at Cambridge which had now become 
the headquarters of the American army with General Artemus 
Ward as Commander-in-Chief. The other American forces were 
to be at Roxbury with General Thomas, and Richard Gridley 
was elected chief engineer by the Provincial Congress. 

Circulars were also sent to the other New England 
colonies asking that as many troops as could be spared should 
be sent to the assistance of Massachusetts. 

Connecticut was so prompt in its answer to the appeal 
that a few days after the 19th of April she had no towns not 
represented in her army which consisted of 6000 men to be 
under the command of Brigadier General Joseph Spencer and 
Brigadier General Israel Putnam ; but gallant Israel Putnam 
had not waited for a commission before he was , in action. He 


was ploughing in his field when he first heard of the butchery 
of the Americans at Lexington. Prompt as when he dragged 
the wolf from its den, he stopped not to change his clothes or 
unyoke his oxen, but leaped to his saddle and galloped towards 
Concord which he entered on the 21st of April, on the same 
horse he had mounted the afternoon before at Pomfret. On 
the next day he wrote back to Connecticut to hasten the troops 
to Cambridge where he at once went, ready for any call that 
might be made upon him. General Spencer was sent to join 
the camp at Roxbury. 

Rhode Island voted to raise 1300 men to join and co- 
operate with the forces of the neighboring colonies under the 
command of Brigadier General Nathaniel Greene. 

In New Hampshire, when the tidings reached Derryfield, 
now Manchester, that the Americans were fighting the 
British soldiers. Colonel John Stark started on horseback for 
Lexington ; his name like General Putnam's was known to 
almost every household in New England. New Hampshire 
furnished troops which were divided into three regiments under 
Colonels Stark, Reid and Poore. Later General Folsom took 
command and joined General Ward at Cambridge. 

In Vermont, fiery Ethan Allen was eager to march 
towards Concord, but he paused to execute that wonderful enter- 
prise which secured for the Americans the formidable fortresses 
of Ticonderoga and Crown Point with all their military stores, 
and gave additional courage to the hearts of the Provincials. 

The official returns of the army thus gathered are so 
inadequate and inaccurate that it is impossible to ascertain with 
precision its numbers. The "grand American Army" as it was 
called in the newspapers of that date probably consisted of about 
16,000 men. 

Rev. Mr. Gordon, historian of the Revolution, and at 
this time chaplain of the Provincial Congress published a re- 


turn of the army present at Cambridge in June giving a total 
of 7,644 officers and men, but be warns us tbat the returns are 

The army was so peculiarly situated, each colony having 
its own establishment, supplying its own troops with provisions 
and ammunition, and directing their disposition, that the only 
element of uniformity seems to have been the common purpose 
that called them together. 

On April 20th General Ward took command of the 
American forces and called a council of war. There were present 
Generals Ward, Heath and Whitcomb, Colonels Bridge, Frye, 
James Prescott, William Prescott, Bullard and Barrett. Later, 
as stated before, the neighboring colonies sent regiments under 
their local leaders. The officers and the army were directly 
responsible to the Committee of Safety, who had almost 
dictatorial powers on all military matters. No one had more 
influence at this time than Dr. Warren, president of the Com- 
mittee of Safety. He did wonders in preserving order among 
the men, for there was great difficulty in maintaining discipline. 
However, in a short time, each colony made separate provision 
for its troops, establishing their pay and appointing and com- 
missioning their officers. 

General Ward was authorized to command only the 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire troops; the Brigadier 
Generals of the other colonies not recognizing General Ward 
as Commander-in-Chief until after the Battle of Bunker Hill. 
This last fact alone sufficiently indicates the confusion that 
existed as to rank among the officers of the different colonies. 
and, in addition to this want of subordination so vital to success 
in military operations the army was inadequately supplied with 
muskets, bayonets and powder; probably one-third of the Massa- 
chusetts troops being without muskets as late as the 16th of 
June. Even tents and clothes were lacking to protect our men ; 
and no measure of bravery or patriotism could make up, in a 


day of trial, for all this defencelessness. Yet this ill-appointed 
army was not entirely unprepared for an encounter. Many 
officers and men had served in the French War; a martial spirit 
had been excited by the frequent trainings of the "Minute Men," 
while the habitual use of the fowling-piece made these raw 
militia superior to veteran British troops in aiming the musket. 
They were superior to them also in character, being mostly 
substantial farmers and mechanics, who had left their homes, 
not to make war a trade, but because they were animated by 
a fresh enthusiasm for liberty. The army also reposed great 
confidence in its leaders. General Ward had served under 
Abercrombie, was a true patriot and a cautious soldier. General 
Thomas was an excellent officer and much beloved. Gridley 
had won laurels at Louisburg as a skilful military engineer. 
Putnam was of intrepid valor and great popularity, Prescott 
of great bravery and military skill, and Stark independent and 
daring. The American army to oppose General Gage was 
gathering from the 19th of April to the middle of June. It 
was distributed along a line nine miles in extent from Boston 
to Medford, but mainly concentrated in two partially entrenched 
camps at Roxbury and Cambridge, and was in daily expectation 
of being attacked by the well armed, well disciplined, well 
officered British army in Boston, and this siege duty told 
severely on men who were not used to camp existence, for 
discipline had not yet counteracted the demoralizing tendencies 
of army life. Ill fed, poorly armed, and with no one recognized 
leader, it was no wonder that the men became restless, dissatis- 
fied and eager for action of any sort, and during the sixty days 
between the battle of Lexington and Bunker Hill, the Americans 
did make several threatening demonstrations against the British, 
two of the most important being the march under General 
Putnam, made with considerable parade through Charlestown, 
another being a skirmish between the American troops at Chelsea 

and a British schooner and marines at Noddle's Island. 



From the evening of the Lexington fight General Gage 
was shut up in Boston. The patriots kept a strict guard on 
every road; no parties were permitted to pass out, no pro- 
visions to pass in, and thus the citizens of Boston were cut off 
from intercourse with the country and were suddenly deprived 
of the necessaries of life. Also civil war was at their doors, 
the sundering of social tics, the burning of peaceful homes, the 
butchery of kindred and friends, and all was uncertainty in re- 
gard to their own fate. The murnmrings of the citizens be- 
came so loud that General Gage finally asked for an interview 
with the selectmen of Boston, for* he did not feel safe under 
existing circumstances, fearing that in case of attack from the 
American troops the citizens of Boston would join with their 
friends without, and he would thus have a, double danger to 
fight. At the meeting with the selectmen General Gage made 
the following proposition: — "That if the men of Boston would 
lodge their fire-arms in Faneuil Hall, they, with their families 
and possessions, might leave the town, and those who chose 
to remain in the city might rely on his protection." The town 
voted to accept this proposal. But the exodus from Boston 
became so great as to alarm the British commander, as he 
feared an attack if all the patriots left, and his agreement with 
the selectmen on one pretext or another was shamefully violated. 
At length passes were refused altogether or arranged so that 
families were divided, General Gage being very averse to allow- 
ing women and children to leave Boston, as he thought they 
contributed to its safety. Thus did the brave British Com- 
mander-in-Chief shelter himself behind the skirts of the first 
Daughters of the American Revolution. 

The inhabitants of Charlestown also were deeply dis- 
tressed through the Siege of Boston, and so many left the town 
that it was practically deserted. 

The British officers and men confined in Boston chafed 
under the enforced inactivity ; they longed for an opportunity 


to regain the prestige lost on the fatal 19th of April. But 
General Gage was too wise a commander to risk his army by 
acting on the offensive until it was stronger, so his operations 
were directed to putting Boston in as good position as possible 
before the attack which he daily expected, and his engineers were 
kept busily at work while the reinforcements from England 
and Ireland were arriving. Some of these reached him about 
the last of May when the Cerberus came into port with Generals 
Howe, Clinton and Burgoyne on board. Soon General Gage 
had under his command 10,000 of the best troops in the British 
Empire. Several of the regiments bore a distinguished and 
ancient record. Besides infantry there was a battalion of Royal 
Artillery and a regiment of Dragoons, effective in all the manual 
of arms. The generals and most of the troops had seen service. 
Howe was known to be brilliant and dashing, Clinton, cool 
and sagacious, Burgoyne, brave but over-confident. 

On the 1 2th of June General Gage issued his memorable 
proclamation, arrogant in its tone and grossly insulting to the 
people. It declared martial law, pronounced those in arms to 
be rebels, but offered pardon to all who should lay down their 
arms, excepting only Samuel Adams and John Hancock. 

This proclamation aroused the temper of the Provincials 
to white heat. About this time General Gage was advised to 
make a sally out of Boston and send troops to occupy both 
Charlestown and Dorchester Heights, both of them military 
positions of the greatest importance to the occupation of Boston, 
which favorable positions were also known to the Provincial 
leaders, and news having reached the American army that 
the British had decided to fortify Dorchester Heights on Sun- 
day, June nth, the Committee of Safety gave orders to General 
Ward to forestall this design if possible. So in accordance with 
these instructions, General Ward issued a command that on 
Friday, June i6th, measures should be taken to fortify Bunker 
Hill on Charlestown Heights. 


Colonels Prescott's, Frye's and Bridge's regiments with 
two hundred Connecticut troops under Captain Knowlton of 
General Putnam's brigade, were to proceed at once to the 
Cambridge camp, taking with them all the entrenching tools, 
and place themselves under the immediate command of Colonel 
William Prescott of Pepperell. About nine o'clock on the even- 
ing of June 1 6th, the memorable march to Charlestown Heights 
began, Colonel Prescott, accompanied by Colonel Richard 
Gridley, the chief engineer, at the head of the troops, about 
1200 in number. The orders from General Ward to Colonel 
Prescott were in writing, and were to the effect that the detach- 
ment should proceed to Bunker Hill, build fortifications to be 
planned by Engineer Gridley, and defend these works until 
they should be relieved, the orders not to ; be communicated 
until the detachment had passed Charlestown Neck. When 
the men reached this point they were joined by General Put- 
nam and the whole body marched to Bunker Hill. Here Colonel 
Prescott called his held officers around him and communicated 
his commands. The order was explicit as to Bunker Hill, but 
Breed's Hill, nearer Boston, seemed better adapted to the object 
of the expedition and the daring spirit of the Americans, and 
it was finally decided to first throw up intrenchments on Breed's 
Hill, and afterwards Bunker Hill should also be fortified in 
order to cover a retreat if necessary. 

When the men reached Breed's Hill, Colonel Gridley 
marked out the plan of fortifications and at twelve o'clock at 
night the men began to work, a few being sent to patrol the 
vicinity in order to give the alarm if surprised. But to the 
thousand men or more, working so continuously through the 
night, came the cheering cry from the patrols — "All's well. " 
Almost silently was the redoubt formed and the breastworks 
thrown up, as the shore was almost a continuous chain of British 
sentinels and the British fleet lay near hv. 






But it was early morning before the fortifications were 
discovered. They were first seen by the English man-of-war, 
the "Lively," and she immediately opened fire on the intrench- 
ments. The noise of the cannonade awoke the British camp 
at Boston who gazed in surprise on this daring defiance of the 

Inside the earth-works the men were protected from the 
enemy and were not materially disturbed by the balls, but kept 
on at work, strengthening the intrenchments and raising plat- 
forms inside of them to stand upon when they should be called 
on to fire. Early in the day a private named Asa Pollard of 
Billerica was killed; Colonel Prescott, afraid of the effect on 
the men, ordered him buried at once. "What, without prayers?" 
said the astonished chaplain and he insisted on performing 
1 service on the first victim of the day, but Colonel Prescott 

ordered the men to disperse and the body was buried at once. 

About noon the fortifications on Breed's Hill were con- 
sidered finished, and General Putnam ordered Colonel Prescott 
to send the intrenching tools at once to Bunker Hill and to 
throw up a breastwork there ; but, by this time, the shipping 
in the harbor had taken a position where they raked the hill 
4 with their cannon shot, making it impossible to continue the 


As the day advanced the men at the redoubt suffered 
from the intense heat, and from the lack of food and drink, 
and Colonel Prescott was urged to send a request to General 
Ward for this force to be relieved by other troops, but Colonel 
Prescott promptly refused, saying that "the men who had raised 
i the works, were the best able to defend them, and those who 

had the fatigue of the labor should have the honor of the 
victory," but he finally agreed to send a special messenger to 
General Ward for reinforcements. General Putnam, who 
seemed to be the inspiring spirit all along the line, had already 
told General Ward of the extreme need of additional troops, 


and of refreshments for the men at the redoubt, and finally the 
regiments of Colonels Stark and Reed, with other regiments, 
were sent to reinforce Colonel Prescott. General Ward was 

so unwilling to weaken his force at Cambridge until he knew 
which point the British meant to attack that much time was 
lost in confusion and vacillation, and the men at the redoubt 
began to lose heart, hut Generals Warren and Pomeroy, coming 
among them as volunteers, gave new courage to the men faint 
from the lack of food and sleep, and General Putnam also, at 
this time, rode on the field again to share in the labor and peril. 
The earth-works which protected the entrance to the redoubt 
were extended and strengthened, a low stone wall surmounted 
with a rail fence some two hundred yards in the rear and ex- 
tending to the water's edge was utilized, and to- close the gap 
between the end of the stone wall and the end of the earth-works, 
rail fences were erected close together, and the space between 
filled with the new-mown hay, lying in the field. 

Long before this the British troops in Boston were 
observed to be in motion. Early in the morning, General Gage 
had called a council of war and contrary to the advice of General 
Clinton determined to dislodge the Americans from Breed's 
Mill by a front attack, and about twelve o'clock on June 17th 
the British troops began to embark for the scene of battle in 
charge of Lieutenant General Howe and General Pigot, and 
landed at Moulton's Point about one hour later, when the ships 
were sent back to Boston for reinforcements for the British. 
What must have been the feelings of the wearied Provincials at 
the redoubt when they saw this magnificent display of disciplined 
British troops with scarlet uniforms and glittering weapons, 
forming into line, while the battleships of the enemy made an 
imposing background. 

Just' before the battle began the American troops 
were disposed in the following manner: — at the redoubt. 
Colonels Prescott's, Frve's and Bridge's regiments 1, with Colonel 





Callender's artillery, while Lieutenant Colonel Robinson of West- 
ford and Captain Wyman of Stark's regiment were stationed 
behind stone walls and fences. At the famous "Rail Fence,'' 
which was under General Putnam's immediate command, were 
Colonel Stark and Colonel Reed of New Hampshire, Captain 
Knowlton of the Connecticut troops, while Brown of Tewksbury, 
Nixon, Little and Doolittle's regiments were near. 

The British commander, General Howe, divided his 
army into two divisions, one under himself to march towards 
the "Rail Fence," the other, under Geiferal Pigot, towards the 
redoubt. With courage and confidence in themselves and con- 
tempt towards the "American peasants," as Burgoyne styled 
the colonists, the British marched forward, but their steady 
progress was broken by the rows of new-mown hay, the stone 
walls and the marshy ground near the brick-kilns. The British 
met with but little resistance from the Americans as they pro- 
ceeded, as the Provincials had been cautioned not to fire 
until the British were within a few rods — "Wait until you see 
the whites of their eyes" — "Pick out the officers" — "Aim at the 
handsome coats," were the commands of Colonel Prescott and 
General Putnam. At the required distance, the Americans 
opened fire ! The result was terrible and the slaughter of the 
British immense. Alarmed and staggered at this unlooked for 
reception, General Flowe ordered retreat. The Americans were 
jubilant. But General Howe soon rallied his troops and decided 
to advance in the same manner as before. In the meantime, 
Charlestown had been set on fire. Amidst the smoke of the 
burning town, and the cannonade from the ships, the British 
troops proceeded slowly again towards the charge, stepping 
on rows of their slain comrades. Again the Americans awaited 
them, again did the deadly fire pour out, and the British fell 

But the ammunition of the Provincials was falling low. a 
few cannon cartridges constituting the whole stock of powder 


on hand. These were opened and the powder distributed. The 
British were so long- in rallying that the Provincial officers 
thought that they might not attack again and Colonel Prescott 
spent the time in inspiring his command with hope and coinage, 
while General Putnam tried to bring order out of the confusion 
that reigned on 1 Junker Hill because of the lack of reinforce- 

Finally the British commander, General Howe, resolved 
to make the third assault, four hundred marines having landed 
to assist him, and General Clinton coming to arouse the courage 
of the troops. Pie now ordered the men to reserve their lire, 
relying on their bayonets, and make their main attack on the 
redoubt. A demonstration was made against the rail fence. 
Generals Plowe, Clinton and Pigot led against Breed's II ill. 
They soon broke through the breast works and drove the de- 
fenders into the intrenchments. Colonel Prescott saw that the 
redoubt must soon be carried, but he continued to give his orders 
steadfastly and coolly. 

But the American fire slackened for want of ammunition 
and the stones that were hurled betrayed their weakness to 
the British. The redoubt was soon successfully scaled and the 
conflict carried on, hand to hand, with swords and bayonets ; 
the enemy continued to enter the intrenchments and Colonel 
Prescott gave the order to retreat. The British, with cheers, 
took possession of the works and immediately formed and 
poured a destructive fire upon the retreating troops, doing 
deadly destruction. At this time the brave and gallant General 
Warren was killed. 

In the meantime the Americans at the "Rail Fence" 
maintained their ground with great firmness. The force here 
did a great service for it saved the main body, who were re- 
treating in disorder from the redoubt, from being cut oil by 
the British. When it was perceived at this point that Colonel 
Prescott had left the hill, the men gave ground, but with more 


the Battle of bunker hill 431 


regularity than could have been expected of troops who had 
been no longer under discipline. 

The whole body of Americans were now under retreat 
over the top of Bunker Hill, where General Putnam endeavored 
to stem the confusion and make another stand — but in vain. 
J About five o'clock the British troops with a great parade 

of triumph, took possession of the same hill that had served 
them for a retreat on the 19th of April. 

Apprehensions were entertained on both sides of a re- 
newal of attack in the night, but the loss of the Peninsula had 
damped the ardor of the Americans, and the loss oi men 
depressed the spirit of the British. The battle of Bunker Hill 
was ended ; the British colors Hew over Prescott's redoubt ; four 
hundred and fifty patriots and fifteen hundred Pritish killed, 
wounded and missing; eighty-nine British officers slept in the 
dust. But patriot courage and endurance were found to equal 
patriot enthusiasm. Technically the battle was lost — morally 
it was won ; for where Warren fell, a Nation was born. 

We residents of this fair city of Lowell may well feel 
a thrill of patriotism and a pride in the achievement, and claim 
a share in the glory of those who fought that day at Bunker Hill. 
J For the three towns which gave so liberally of their 

territory to form this prosperous city of ours, gave also most 
generously of their men and means, on that memorable day. 

Ghelmsford, Dracut and Tewksbury, our foster-mothers, 
stand forth a trio of sisters proud of the stainless record of 
their sons on Bunker Hill. 

And the one hifndred and thirty-four years seem to have 
almost passed away as we stand here today, near one of the 
ancient highways, over which many of these men hastened on 
their way to join the camp at Cambridge. And can we not 
picture them, eagerly hurrying forward, through these beautiful 
spring summer days, under the leafy trees, and beside the 
winding streams gaily bedecked with our own familiar flowers, 




leaving behind them their dearly loved cottage or homestead, 
and marching out to certain danger and probable death? 

One wonders if this beautiful season of our somewhat 
bleak New England, when all Nature is at her best, may not 
have unconsciously inspired them and added to their de- 
termination to repel the usurper from her soil, and leave this 
dear and beautiful land a free heritage to their posterity. 

In the Battle of Bunker Hill, Chelmsford men were con- 
spicuous for their bravery and acts of personal daring. Captain 
John Ford, whose homestead and saw-mill were on what is 
now Pawtucket street, was in command of the Chelmsford 
company, consisting of sixty men. He was attached to the 
regiment of Colonel Ebenezer Bridge, the son of the patriotic 
minister of Chelmsford, and was stationed at the camp at 
Cambridge under General Ward. When the preparations For 
the battle began, Captain Ford obtained permission from the 
general to withdraw his company privately, and march directly 
to reinforce the troops at Bunker Hill. On their way they 
were met by General Putnam who ordered Captain Ford to 
draw the cannon which had been deserted by Colonel Callender 
at the foot of the redoubt, into line at the "rail fence." Captain 
Ford's men objected on the ground that many of them had 
never seen a cannon before, but being encouraged by the cap- 
tain, they finally moved them into the desired position. When 
the British advanced towards the "rail fence," these cannon 
manned by a portion of Captain Ford's company, opened lire 
on them with great effect; the rest of his men were ordered 
not to use their muskets until the enemy *were within eight rods 
of the line, but Joseph Spalding of Chelmsford could not resist 
the temptation to discharge his musket before orders were given, 
and so doing, hastened the attack. On his toirfbstone in the 
old graveyard at Chelmsford, is this inscription: "He was at 
the Battle of Bunker Hill where he opened the battle by firing 
upon the enemy before orders were given." 




Another company under command of Captain Benjamin 
Walker was attached to Colonel Bridge's command and included 
ten Chelmsford men. The following tables contain the names 
of those who belonged to Chelmsford and engaged in the liattle 
of Bunker Hill:— 

Officers : 

Col. Ebenczer Bridge 
Lieut. -Col. Moses Parker 
Major John Brooks 

Adjutant Joseph Fox 
Quartermaster John Bridge 
Surgeon Walter Hastings 
Asst. Surgeon John Sprague 

27th Regiment under Captain John Ford 


Lieut. Isaac Parker 

Seroeants : 
Moses Parker 
Daniel Keyes 
Parker Emerson 
Jonas Pierce 

Drummer : 

William Ranstead 

Privates : 
John Keyes 
Alexander Davidson 
John Chambers 
Samuel Britton 
Moses Parker 
Benjamin Pierce 
David Chambers 
Ebenezer Shed 
Samuel Wilson 
Nathaniel Foster 
James Drum 
Isaiah Foster 
Benjamin Parker 
Benjamin Farley 
Enoch Cleaveland 
Benjamin Butterfield 
Samuel Howard 
Moses Esterbrook 
Robert Auger 
Elijah Haselton 
John Glode 
Jesse Dow 
Joseph Spalding 

Ensign Jonas Parker 

Corporals : 
John Bates 
Benjamin Barrett 
William Chambers 
William Carobill 

Fifer : 

Barzilla Lew — Dracut 

Francis Davidson 
Oliver Cory 
Samuel Marshall 
Joseph Chambers 
Joseph Spalding 
Isaac Barrett 
Reuben Foster 
Timothy Adams 
John Parker 
William Rowell 
Benjamin Hayward 
Thomas Bewkel 
James Alexander 
Nathaniel Kemp 
Solomon Keyes 
Noah Foster 
Jonas Spalding 
Josiah Fletcher 
James Chambers 
Silas Parker 
Robert Richardson 
William Brown 
Solomon Farmer 

Captain Benjamin Walker's Company : 

Thomas Marshall 

Charles" Fletcher 
Joseph Blood 
Zaccheus Fletcher 
Joseph Osgood 
Joshua Durant 

John Adams 
Robert Tier 
Ebenezer Gould 


Lieutenant Colonel Moses Parker and Captain Benjamin 
Walker of Chelmsford were mortally wounded at the Battle of 

Bunker Hill. 

Dracut also has a proud record on this historic field of 

Captain Peter Coburn's company in Colonel Bridge's 
regiment did memorable service on that day. This company 
was stationed at the redoubt; it numbered fifty-four men, and 
they were hotly engaged during the action. Captain Coburn's 
clothes being riddled with bails. It is related that just as Colonel 
Prescott gave the order to retreat, a British officer mounted 
the breastworks and exclaimed "Now, my boys, we have you," 
and in answer to this boast, Captain Coburn picked up a stone, 
hurled it at his head and knocked him down. 

The muster-roll of Captain Peter Coburn's company of 
Dracut at the Battle of Bunker Hill is as follows : 

Captain: Lieutenants: 

Peter Coburn Josiah Foster 

Ebenezer Varnum 

Sekc.eants : Corporals : 

James Varnum John Hancock 

Micah Hildreth . John Taylor 

Pliineas Coburn . Jesse Fox 

William Harvey John Barron 

Privates: Moses Clement 

Benjamin Barron Benjamin Crosby 

John Bradley Seth Didson 

Daniel Clough Zehediah Fitch 

Timothy Davis Ahijah Fox 

William Fmerson Thomas Gardner 

Timothy Foster Jonathan H'amblett 

Jesse Fox John Holt 

Josiah Fox Samuel Jenners 

Gardner Gould Nathaniel Kittredge 

Ahijah Hills William Parker 

Nebemiah Jaquest Moses Richardson 

Solomon Jones Amos Sawyer 

David Lindsey John Tbissel 

Jonathan Richardson Joseph Tuttel 

John Roper Jonas Varnum 

Barnabas Stevens William Varnum 

Elijah Tuttel Jonas Whiting 

John Varnum Solomon Wood 

Joshua Varnum Samuel Whiting 

Henry Barron Thomas Wright 



In other companies were : 

Moses Barker Joseph Hibbard 

Moses Parker, Jr. Chester Parker 

William Brown Barzilla Lew, Colored 
Smith Coburn 

Three men from Dracut were mortally wounded or killed 
at Bunker Hil 

Benjamin Crosby John Thissel Joseph Hibbard 

Tewksbury also manifested a spirit of patriotism and 
sacrifice not less than her sister towns in the great struggle for 

The men from Tewksbury, who were engaged in the 
Battle of Bunker Hill, were in the companies of Captain John 
Harnden of Wilmington and Captain Benjamin Walker of 
Chelmsford. i 

Those in Captain Harnden's company being: 

John Burt Moses Gray 

William Harris Samuel Manning 

Joshua Thompson 

In Captain Walker's company : 

Lieutenant : Corporals : 

John Flint Phillip Fowler 

Sergeants : David Bayley 

Luke Swett Peter Hunt 
Fliakim Walker 

Drummer: Fifer: 

Phineas Annis Isaac Manning 

Privates : 

John Bayley Samuel Bayley 

Jonathan Beard John Danderly 

John Dutton Timothy Dutton 

Amos Foster Jacob Frost 

Jonathan Frost Joseph Frost 

Jonathan Gould Jonathan Gray 

John Hall John Howard 

Nehemiah Hunt Paul Hunt 

Josiah Kidder Asa Laveston 

I Eliphalet Manning Daniel Merritt 

1$ Joseph Phelps Hezekiah Thorndike 


Taken prisoners or killed at Bunker Hill : 
Phillip Fowler Jacob Frost 

The lists of the names of the men from Chelmsford, 
Dracut and Tewksbury who fought on that memorable 17th 


43 r > 


of June, one hundred and thirty-four years ago, have been com- 
piled from the original records, and it seems but a slight 
recognition of their services to ask that in some form these lists 
should be preserved for all time. 

And it seems most fitting that the Lowell Historical 
Society should pay this small tribute of listening to the Roll of 
Honor of these men, who fought on Bunker Hill; the men 
who lived, and loved, and labored, within our original boundaries, 
and whose patriotism on Bunker Hill made it possible for such 
an organization as this to have existence. 

Lowell High School Historical Essay Awarded the Lowell 
Historical Society's First Prize of $io in Gold. By 
Miss Tessie G. Curry, of the Class of 1909. 

Lowell the Site for a Beautiful City. 

The main idea of my theme is a plea and plan for con- 
serving and developing the beauties of Lowell. Its suggestions 
for reconstruction are based upon a photographic survey of 
Lowell's present with a view toward the beautifying of its future. 

The city of Lowell is situated at the junction of the 
Concord and Merrimack rivers with the hills of Belvidere and 
Centralville on the east, and the Highlands and Pawtucketville 
on the west. The section of the city known as Belvidere is 
situated southeast of the Concord river. ]t attracts attention 
because of its high and commanding position as it looks away 
from the city out over the river, and is considered the most 
beautiful residential section. From the steep incline on Andover 
street an extremely good view of Hunt's Falls, Indian Orchard 
and the wooded horizon can be obtained. 

The Highlands and the land near Pawtucket Falls give 
an extensive view of the country west of Lowell. The view of 
Dracut from Moody Bridge is remarkably picturesque and 
varied. The cluster of houses, which stand out prominently 
from the wooded hills in the background, is plainly visible from 
this point. 

Perhaps the most fitting description of the view of the 
city from Centralville is — "From the mountains to the main, 
there is no lovelier scene than that which meets the eye, when 
from the summit of Christian Hill, we look down upon Lowell 
and survey the varied landscape unrolled like a beautiful picture 
before us." 

Lowell has been located on the Merrimack and Concord 
rivers for industrial purposes and we have to look for very little 
in the way of artistic development along its water front but 



"it is possible that the dawn of an electrical age may relieve us 
of the unhappy sacrifice of the water view. At present the 
industrial structures tend to screen from view the polluted stream 
and present a weird and enchanting appearance on a dark after- 
noon, when myriads of lights twinkle from the windows, and 
the buildings silhouette themselves in irregular masses against 
the sky." 

It must be said however, that the Concord and Merrimack 
rivers even in their present condition have considerable beauty. 
The Pawtucket Falls, in the Merrimack river, which have a 
descent of about thirty feet, furnish abundance of water power 
for the many mills. In the spring the rushing of the broad deep 
current over the glacial marked rocks below is a scene of beauty 
and grandeur. The Northern Canal branches from the Merri- 
mack river at Pawtucket Bridge and follows the shore closely 
for half a mile. Just below r the bridge, it forms with the river 
an island, called The Canal Walk, one-sixth of a mile in length. 
If this island were regraded, planted with flowers and equipped 
with seats it would add considerable to its attractiveness. The 
view from Moody Bridge looking towards Dracut is very 
pleasing, but looking towards Little Canada it is nothing less 
than ugly. If the city purchased the strip of land on the east 
shore from the bridge to Aiken street a large park could be 
constructed and this would be an excellent location for one of 
Low r ell's greatest needs — A Public Bath House. The level 
stretch of land near Aiken Bridge could be remodelled into an 
ideal playground. 

The river bank along Lakeview r Avenue, a part of which 
is used for a dump and taken as a whole with the wooden houses 
in its immediate vicinity gives this locality an unsightly appear- 
ance. A drive-way with trees and grass, and provided with 
settees would be a fitting way in which to treat this strip of land. 
If this improvement were made the value of property in this 

L. H. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, 1909 439 

location would increase and then the property-owners would be 
compelled to improve the structures. 

The river hank along First street, while not in a bad con- 
dition, could be made more pleasant and attractive at a com- 
paratively small cost. Farther down the river, Indian Orchard, 
which is in close proximity to Hunt's Falls, should be preserved 
in its present state of wild and natural beauty. 

On the other hand the banks of the Concord river on 
Fayette and Concord streets are completely hidden from view 
by tenement houses and mills, but from the stone bridge, on 
Rogers street, the view is charming. The buildings are hidden 
from view by the wooded curves of the shore which still exist 
in natural beauty. The canoeing on this river is a favorite 
pastime during the summer months, there being an unbroken 
stretch of four miles to North Rillerica. At this point the carry 
is over the bank into the old canal. 

Even the artificial waterways, the canals, are not lacking 
in beauty, and vie with the rivers in picturesqueness. However, 
there is considerable room for improvement. The canal bank 
on Anne street is now being remodelled preparatory to being 
placed in the hands of the Park Commission. Should this 
undertaking prove a success there is no reason why some of 
the other canal banks cannot be improved in a similar manner, 
for instance, the canal opposite the Greek Church is anything 
but prepossessing. The high boarded fence not only shuts out 
the view of the grassy banks of the canal, but spoils the appear- 
ance of this unique structure. 

The remarkable growth of Lowell makes the problem 
of suitable parks and playgrounds of pressing importance. 
Regularly equipped playgrounds with apparatus and under the 
direction of skilled teachers and attendants, to encourage in- 
dividual and organized play, will soon doubtless be a part of 
the public school system. Lowell is not favored with many 
breathing places ; to be sure there are a number of parks but 


they, for the most part, are not located where they are mo^t 
needed — in the congested districts. 

The North and South Commons, being situated in the 
heart of the city are especially suitable for playgrounds and 
have been provided with sand boxes and swings — a preliminary 
step towards equipping playgrounds with apparatus. 

Lowell's largest and most beautiful park is Fort Hill Park, 
the summit of which is two hundred and sixty-seven feet above 
sea level and one hundred and forty-two feet above the street. 
A new granolithic sidewalk has been laid on Rogers street 
from High street to the main entrance, but there are sections 
of this beautiful park which are neither graded nor laid out 
in walks. An important step towards beautifying Lowell would 
be to have this park remodelled, provided with a shelter house, 
traversed by spacious driveways and well lighted. ( )n the 
summit a bandstand could be erected, and Lowell would then 
enjoy a park unsurpassed by any other in New England. Park 
Garden in Belvidere which would be an excellent location for 
the Rodin statue, and Tyler Park in the Highlands are two of 
Lowell's smaller parks; both of which have received ordinary 
maintenance care. 

The streets of Lowell are wide, some are paved with 
granite blocks while others are constructed of asphalt. The 
principal problem of our streets is one of repairing and clean- 
ing. The cheap methods of street railway corporations are as 
responsible as those of the asphalt companies for the bad con- 
dition of many expensive pavements. The problem of street 
cleaning has of course to deal with conditions as they are, but, 
no successful result in cleaning streets will be obtained until the 
back streets are renovated. 

The street signs of our city being for the most part 
attached to th,e lamp-posts, can be read equally well by day and 
by night. 




The overhead wires were best eliminated but, until they 
are, the poles that support them should he rendered as artistic 
as possible for "a city is now held progressive when it shows 
the fewest wires, not when it presents their greatest network." 
"In solving the problem of smoke suppression the advance 
is not so plain, how largely this may be due to lack of popular 
confidence in complete efficiency of any consumer on the market 
would be an interesting fact to know." 

Lowell is a beautiful city on its outskirts, but the city 
proper even if it has to contend with smoke from the mills, 
might be made to look more pleasing if the ugly, unsightly 
billboards, which disfigure not only our small streets but also 
our principal streets were abolished. This nuisance is attracting 
the attention of many of the best men both at home and abroad. 
My idea is to tax them out of existence, for our streets will 
never be pretty, much less beautiful until they are abolished. 
"In the mental picture of a beautiful city the tree has an 
inseparable part. Tree-lined avenues, tree-arched streets are 
factors in the health and comfort of the city.* Lowell has 
submitted to many treeless thoroughfares which if planted with 
trees would have a delightful effect upon the nerves of people. 

The foreign element of our city presents the most severe 
problem in beautifying Lowell. They have settled in different 
sections of our city and the crowded manner in which they live 
renders the appearance of the immediate locality very distressing. 
Especially is this true in the case of Market and Suffolk streets, 
the center of the Greek settlement — for Lowell has the largest 
Greek population in the United States. But I am confident 
[» ■* „ that in a few years they will take an interest and pride in the 

city's beauty and do their utmost to promote its growth, for 
we can trace the Greek love of beauty back to the olden times 
^ when they erected beautiful temples and theatres which are 

still regarded as magnificent models of architecture. 


The buildings of Lowell arc not of great height and 
hence do not mar the city. The leading structures are the Court 
House, the • Post Office, the schools and the churches. There 
are many beautiful residences surrounded by spacious lawns 
which give evidence of the city's prosperity. "The public 
buildings are represented by at least three landlords, the city, 
county, and national governments, and these rarely consult with 
each other in the choice of their own sites. As a consequence, 
the post-office rises in one place, the court-house in another, the 
city hall in yet a third. Each loses in dignity through the crowd- 
ing about it of commercial structures and thus the city is robbed 
of definite centre." But it must be said that the Public Library 
and City Mall are very accessible, being on the chief business 
thoroughfare. The appearance of these beautiful buildings is 
not enhanced by the structures in their immediate vicinity. The 
buildings on Moody street together with the cheap wooden 
theatres on Merrimack street make a very poor setting for the 
most important buildings of our city. The present conditions 
could be improved if Dummer street were extended to Merrimack 
street, and the city be given control of the dilapidated structures 
on Moody street. Then again, the Colburn Lot, which un- 
fortunately the city refused to buy, was sold to a Boston man. 
This piece of land would have made a good setting for the 
Memorial Building if the city had purchased and remodelled it 
into a small park. 

While the public buildings are noted for their beauty the 
same cannot be said of the Middlesex street station. The station 
is not large enough for the population of Lowell, in fact it does 
not present a pleasing appearance. An ideal plan would be for 
the railroad company either to improve the present structure, 
or transform the mansion at the corner of Thorndike and 
Chelmsford streets into a large and commodious station. It ii 
better for railroad companies to improve their property, as people 




coming into Lowell get their first impression of the city from 
its railroad station. 

Some of the suggestions herein mentioned can be secured 
only by co-operation. The fundamental idea is not to plunge 
into vast expense by trying to carry out all the plans at once 
but to make sure that hereafter in the course of the city's de- 
velopment each step will count to the right direction, so that 
nothing will have to be undone. We are not to remodel Lowell 
until it conforms to a certain pattern — this would be absurd ; 
but we must accept it as it is, and guide its development along 
lines of good sense, attractiveness, sanitation and convenience. 
The residents of Lowell should be inspired with a love and de- 
votion for the city in which they live and do their utmost to 
promote its growth and welfare, for who can tell but the time 
is not far oft' when Lowell will be known not as the City of 
Spindles, but as The City Beautiful. 

Lowell High School Historical Essay Awarded the Lowell 
Historical Society's Second Prize oe $5 in Gold. Bv 
Miss Geneva M. Coggins, of the Class of 1909. 

Lowell the Site for a Beautiful City. 

Few cities of our land possess greater natural beauties 
of location than Lowell, embracing as it does within its limits, 
two charming rivers and a cluster of hills and highlands. What 
is the very heart of Lowell today was one of Nature's beauty 
spots, for it is there that the Concord river, after winding its 
sluggish way through field and woodland, at last glides into the 
broad bosom of the Merrimack, the "beautiful blue Merrimack" 
of Lucy Larcom. It was, however, the power of those rivers — 
their great resources for manufacturing, and not their beauty, 
which attracted the attention of the founders of Lowell and 
is responsible for the location of the "city of spindles." But, 
in process of developing that power, these men made the site 
of the city even more attractive than before, for the Falls of 
the Merrimack is one of Lowell chief beauties, and her network 
of canals, unsurpassed in the country, extends the water-ways 
through the city. 

Nevertheless, Lowell is an illustration of the saying that 
"manufacturing cities are seldom beautiful." Business is, of 
course, the first consideration, and consequently there border 
both sides of some of the canals, and stretch along part of the 
banks of the rivers solid walls of mills, their tall chimneys send- 
ing out clouds of smoke. The mill operatives must be near 
their work, and, to house them, large, monotonous, uninterest- 
ing tenement blocks, usually of brick, have been erected in the 
vicinity of nearly all the great manufacturing establishments. 
It would not, of course, be practicable to clear away these blocks, 
unattractive though they be, hut there is no need of the squalid 
conditions in some of these sections. "A manufacturing city 
may not be beautiful, but it need not be ugly," and this fact 


should be realized by those who regard the city merely as a 
place in which to gain wealth. 

One of the most important essentials of the truly beautiful 
is that a plan, laid out along the lines of natural beauty, shall 
be followed. In most of our cities such a plan was not drawn 
at first, but in some of them today, expert architects are being 
employed to work out plans, both fur the improvement, as far 
as possible, of the present city and for all future development. 
Though Lowell has not been built upon any definite plan, yet 
the main streets do conform in a marked degree to the topog- 
raphy of the land. The courses of the rivers and canals de- 
termine the general direction of many of the principal thorough- 
fares of the city. 

The starting-point of all the car-lines, Merrimack Square, 
is located at the junction of the rivers. From this point, East 
Merrimack street, to the east, and Merrimack street, to the west, 
run parallel to the course of the river whose name they bear. 
At right angles to this, Central and Gorham streets follow the 
general lines of the Concord river. Bridge street, on the other 
side, crosses the Merrimack river at the Square and forms 
the main thoroughfare of Centralville. Other streets, scarcely 
less important than these, are also laid out in accordance with 
the natural lines. Many of the canals, too, are bordered by 
important streets, as in the case of the Dutton street canal and 
the Suffolk street canal. So far the streets are well planned, 
but aside from this, the city has sprung up along the lines of 
least resistance. 

Not the plan of the streets, alone, but their width, straight- 
ness, arrangement and general appearance contribute in the 
highest degree to the attractiveness of a city, for dignity plays 
a leading part in making a city beautiful. In a beautiful city. 
streets and sidewalks must not be narrow, crooked and ill-kept. 
Even Lowell's very broadest streets are far from conforming 

to the standard of width which has been set by our really beauti- 



ful cities. Neither are the streets of Lowell particularly straight. 
There are no "magnificent distances" here as there are in Wash- 
ington, our most beautiful American city. But even though 
streets and sidewalks are not wide, if they are clean and well 
shaded they are beautiful in a home-like way. This is particularly 
true of Nesmith street, of Pawtucket street and of Forrest street, 
where the tall trees meet overhead, making of the street a 
shady, green-arched passageway, where the sun can only flicker 
through the leaves. Lowell's old and stately trees are a natural 
beauty which she is very fortunate in possessing and which add 
greatly to her attractiveness. Owing to the narrowness of the 
streets, however, we do not find here trees planted in a strip of 
lawn between the street and sidewalk', an arrangement which 
has proved very successful and attractive in' Rochester, New 
York, Springfield, Massachusetts, and in other cities. Although 
it is impossible to make any radical changes in the old streets, 
when there is occasion for a new street to be laid out, attention 
should be paid to all these details. 

In "the city beautiful" the buildings, both public and 
private, must be attractive and well placed. In the residential 
and suburban sections of most cities this is usually the case, 
and Lowell is no exception to the general rule. But public 
buildings and business blocks, also, are important factors for 
beauty. In some of our large cities, Cleveland, Ohio, in par- 
ticular, plans are being made for the grouping of the public 
edifices about a formally treated square or park, and much 
attention is being paid to carrying out this idea. The chief of 
Lowell's public buildings, the City Hall, is placed to excellent 
advantage, situated, as it is, in a prominent position in the heart 
of the city, with the open square before it affording an un- 
obstructed view of the building and grounds. The Memorial 
Library, in the same block of land with City Hall, is not so 
well placed, for its nearness to the larger building gives it the 
appearance of being crowded. The addition ot the Coburn lot 

L. U. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, I909 447 

to the Library grounds, corresponding in situation to the park 
in front of City Hall, would remedy this defect to a great extent, 
and increase the attractiveness of these two prominent buildings. 
Opposite these buildings are a church and a school ; close by are 
a club-house, a business block and a hotel, which form a good 
beginning for the group plan. 

But at no other point in the city has even an attempt 
been made at grouping the buildings. The Post Office, an 
attractive building in itself, is so obscurely placed, and the section 
in which it stands is so crowded, that much of its dignity and 
beauty is lost. The same fault may be found in connection with 
the Depot. Strangers form their first opinion of a place by the 
surroundings of the building which they first see. In Lowell 
they would gain the impression that the city is even more lack- 
ing in general beauty than is really the case. 

It is, of course, impossible to change the present location 
» ♦ of these public edifices, and not practicable, because of their 

value, to clear away the surrounding buildings. If, however, 
in future, any opportunity for making these situations more 
attractive should present itself, advantage should immediately 
be taken of it. In addition to this, "every new public building 
is an opportunity," and such opportunities are frequently 
presenting themselves. 

The other buildings, of a semi-public nature, should be 
so placed as to contribute dignity and beauty to the business 
streets on which they stand. A detail which helps greatly 
toward the realization of this effect, is that these blocks shall 
be, as nearly as possible, the same height. This has been done 
here in many cases, with good effect, but there are still some 
instances where the general appearance might be improved if 
this particular feature were remedied. An example of this is 
the group of buildings on Merrimack street adjoining the Bon 
Marche Building. This is, however, a fault which time itself 
will undoubtedly remove, for, as the demand for larger business 


facilities increases, these buildings will be enlarged, or rebuilt 
altogether. Then care should be taken that the new buildings 
harmonize in every way with their surroundings. 

These things — the width and arrangement of streets, the 
treatment of trees and sidewalks, the placing and grouping of 
buildings — all, are very important, but perhaps the most im- 
portant feature in a beautiful city is its system of parks. Parks 
promote, not only the attractive appearance of a city, but, what 
is still more important, the health and welfare of its inhabitants. 
In this respect, Lowell, with her hills, her rivers and canals, 
presents great natural opportunities, not all of which have, as 
yet, been taken advantage of. 

Standing pre-eminent among the natural sites that have 
been utilized is Fort Hill Park. As the name 1 suggests, this 
park occupies the whole of Fort Hill, which, both from its 
historic associations, and its commanding view of the surround- 
ing country, is an ideal park site. The grounds are artistically 
laid out, conforming to the natural lines, and improvements are 
continually being made and work done on the sections yet un- 
finished. Another charming spot in this section of the city is 
Belvidere Park, small, to be sure, but setting off the stately 
dignity of the old residences of Park street, to say nothing of 
affording a happy playground for the children of the neighbor- 

On the heights of Centralville, the Reservoir, with its 
broad expanse of water surrounded by velvety lawns, is a most 
enticing spot, while a bird's-eye view of much of the city may be 
obtained from there. 

The Highlands boast of Tyler Park, an appropriate setting 
for the beautiful homes built along its roads, and a guarantee 
that this section of the city will never be crowded. Not far 
from this park is the Glacial Oval, a very interesting feature, 
which owes its present form to the school children of Lowell. 

L. II. S. PRIZE ESSAYS, I909 449 

Pawtucketville's chief attraction, and one of which to be 
proud, is the Pawtucket Boulevard, stretching straight away for 
miles beside the broad river. This offers, too, splendid 
opportunity for still further development. 

In the heart of the city, the North and South Commons, 
with their shady walks, their velvety grass, their playgrounds 
and ball-grounds, afford rest, recreation, or enjoyment to chil- 
dren and "grown-ups" alike, according to the taste of each. 
Work, greatly improving its appearance, is now going forward 
on the banks of the Anne street canal, a spot very beautiful in 
itself with its swiftly flowing current and its leafy arches over 
streets and canal. 

Aside from these parks, in various parts of the city- 
there is charming scenery, such as the views from Andover 
street of the Merrimack river, winding its stately way between 
the hills ; or another view seen from the Moody street bridge, 
of the rapids of the same river, with the buildings and grounds 
of the Textile School on the opposite bank, and Centralville in 
the distance. 

There are opportunities, however, for many additions to 
the present park system. All the banks of both the Concord 
and Merrimack rivers have not yet been taken up, and the 
unoccupied spaces should, as far as possible, be acquired for 
parks. The Centralville bank of the Merrimack, for instance, 
presents an excellent opportunity in this direction. The vacant 
space at the Moody street end of the Pawtucket Walk might be 
developed into a charming park. The Livingston land, in the 
Highlands, offers possibilities for a very spacious and attractive 
park by proper treatment. 

Only in the one instance have the canal banks been used 
for parks. Aside from this, even the beauty of the canals them- 
selves has been hidden by high board fences which are, in many 
cases, covered with billboards and other cheap advertising 
schemes, one of the elements of ugliness in a city. This is 


especially true of the Suffolk street canal, while on the Paw- 
tucket canal and others there is room for much improvement. 
Simply by removing these fences, thus allowing the natural 
beauty of the canals to be seen, a great advance toward im- 
proving the appearance of the city would be made, even though 
there was no real park developed on the canal banks. 

Other questions of city beautifying — those of the abolition 
of overhead wires, the treatment of grade-crossings, ways of 
ridding cities of billboard advertising, and other smaller, but 
important, features — are being discussed all over the country 
at the present time, and new methods are being applied as fast 
as public intelligence grasps their advantages. 

These questions, and the whole question, of making, on 
the site of the present Lowell, the beautiful city that Nature 
has so generously provided for, should interest every individual 
having the welfare of his city at heart. Public spirit should 
be awakened and stimulated by means of lectures, of talks, of 
newspaper and magazine articles — in any way that may reach 
all classes of people. With a stronger love of the beautiful thus 
awakened in all its inhabitants, Lowell may well take a place, in 
the future, anions: the beautiful cities of New England. 

Old Homes and Historic Byways of Lowell. By -Mrs. 
Sara Swan Griffin. Read December 9, 1909. 

The spot on which the city of Lowell now stands is not 
without historic interest. The wigwams of the Indians or the 
scattered homes of the early English settlers at one time 
stood where now are almost innumerable industries or spacious 
streets and residences. 

And before all memory of the early inhabitants of this 
locality has faded away and all knowledge of the old traditions 
has been lost from among us it may be both wise and interest- 
ing to make in fancy a circuit of our city, and with the "Old 
Highway to the Merrimack" as a starting point, to revive an 
interest in a few of the nearly forgotten homes and lives of 
those who made it possible for the Lowell of today to be in 

In 1659 we find the term "Highway to the Merrimack" 
first mentioned in certain old Chelmsford deeds. It was no 
doubt the old road to Golden Cove, but the Lowell end is now 
called Stedman street. Originally the road turned down by 
Mt. Pleasant Spring, but later it was straightened out through 
Stedman and Baldwin streets to the river. 

About 1655 we find the first record of any English in- 
habitants of what is now the city of Lowell, seven or eight 
families having settled in the vicinity of the "Old Highway," 
attracted to the spot by its proximity to the river and the fact 
that land had been cleared here by the Indians. 

Rude as were the surroundings of these first settlers, 
and adverse as were the circumstances under which they labored, 
they yet found time to remember the "beginning of wisdom," 
for as early as 1699 we find that the wife of John Wright, living 
in this neighborhood, was authorized to hold at her house a 
"dame school" to "learne young persons to Reed and write," as 
the old record quaintly puts it. 


A short distance from the "Old Highway" on what is 
now called Wood street is the Sewall Bowers house, which is 
doubtless the oldest building in our city. The farm has been 
in the possession of the Bowers family since the first settlement 
of Chelmsford, and is mentioned in the early records as having 
been a rendezvous for the colonists in times of danger, and fur 
neighborly conference. Also as early as 1686, a ''still" was 
licensed at this place for the manufacture of ''strong waters" 
that may be sold to "Christians but not to Indians." The 
numerous foot-paths that may even yet be traced to the old 
Uowers house show that the early settlers made the most of 
their privileges. 

Opposite the foot of Wood street, and on the bank of 
the river, was erected in 1675 by Major Hinchman a "Garrison 
House," which was used as a place of safety for the families 
in this section during King Phillip's War and the later skirmishes 
with the Indians. Not a trace is left of the old log structure, 
but memory still retains the story of how the neighboring 
farmers, with their wives and little ones, hastened to the old 
house for shelter when- rumors of the attacks by Indians in 
the adjoining towns filled their hearts with horror and dismay. 
Remains of an old well have been found near this site and 
tradition connects it with the old "Garrison House." 

Farther down on the bank of the Merrimack with its 
grounds gently sloping to the river's edge, stands what is called 
today the "Middlesex Hotel," but in the early Colonial days it 
bore the title of "Clark's Tavern." As early as 1728, Captain 
Jonas Clark was the genial inn-keeper, a man of prominence 
and a descendant of Rev. Thomas Clark of Chelmsford. Cap- 
tain Clark was succeeded in the tavern by his son Timothy who 
kept up the old customs and traditions of the house. We may 
aptly borrow Longfellow's lines to describe this once famous 
place of entertainment : 


"As ancient is this hostelry, 
As an>' in the land, may be, 
Built in the old Colonial days, 
When men lived in a grander way 
With ampler hospitality." 

This tavern was near Clark's Ferry and was a popular 
resort for the fashionable and distinguished people of the day. 
The carriages of Lowell's wealthiest families at the present 
time cannot compare in grandeur to the coaches with armorial 
bearings which rolled up to that hospitable door in the old 
Colonial days. Among its guests have been Lafayette, Hancock 
and scores of other notabilities, and the brilliancy of the dinner 
parties given within its walls in the days of its early grandeur 
can hardly be excelled even in the luxury of this generation. 

Crossing the Merrimack river by the means , of Clark's 
Ferry to the opposite shore, and proceeding along Ferry Road, 
we come to the old Durkee house. The date of the erection 
of this house is a matter of dispute. It is on, or near, the site 
of the John Webb house, built about 1660, and may have been 
the original* home of this prominent settler whose possessions 
were vast for that period. Its architecture shows it to be of 
Colonial times, and the many interesting traditions connected 
with its history give it an air of romance. From one of its 
upper rooms, it is said, the early colonists resisted an attack 
of the prowling Mohawks at the time of King Phillip's War, and 
also from one of its windows the horrified inmates saw the 
murder of the two Varnum boys by the Indians, as they 
were crossing the Merrimack river in their canoe. The 
so-called Durkee house was the most pretentious of its time 
in this location and was always used as a place of ren- 
dezvous by the neighboring colonists, and also in later years 
as a tavern of good and notable repute, for by its door passed 
the stages and stately carriages, whose occupants were travelling 
down from New Hampshire to Boston. Here in 1776 the 
neighbors came to listen to the sound of the firing of the cannon 


at Bunker Hill, and the old hall, in which doubtless they were 
gathered, still retains its original features — the smooth hard 
floor for dancing, and the raised benches on which the guests 
sat, and looked on as the red-cheeked girls and the sturdy farmer 
boys danced the old country reels. 

The "Old Meadow Road," at a later date, ran down to 
the river and by means of Clark's Ferry one could cross to the 
Chelmsford side. On this old road, now hardly more than a 
path, stood the "Ministree," the home of the first minister of 
Dracut, the Rev. Thomas Parker. In this house also lived for 
some years the noble French exile, Colonel Marie Louis Amand 
Ansart De Maresquelles, and to this house in 1784 came Lafay- 
ette to visit his old-time friend and comrade in the military 
circles of France. . 

Colonel Marie Louis Amand Ansart De Maresquelles, 
a member of the French Court, a son of a Marquis, and nephew 
of the great French Marquis Montalembert, came to America 
in 1776. Because of the valuable secret which he disclosed 
to the Colonial government in regard to the manufacture 
of solid cannon, he was appointed by this government as 
Colonel of Artillery and Inspector General of the Foundries 
of Massachusetts, and in such capacity he served until the close 
of the Revolutionary War. On account of political troubles in 
France, Colonel De Maresquelles decided to adopt America as 
his country, and laying aside his noble rank, he was naturalized 
in the courts of Massachusetts, under the name of Louis Ansart. 
Choosing Dracut for his home, Colonel Ansart lived in this 
quiet country town until his death in 1804. Fie is buried in 
what is now known as Woodbine Cemetery, and which he had 
apportioned from his farm and given to Dracut for a "Burying 
Ground" for the use of the Ansarts, Coburns and Varnums, 
and where, after "life's fitful fever," he sleeps as calmly on the 
rugged New England hillside as if he lay in the ancestral tomb 
in sunny France. 


On a lane off Varnum Avenue, formerly a part of the 
Old Meadow Road, is the old Varnum homestead. Built 
probably about 1700, it has sheltered seven generations of Var- 
nums, and it stands today in dignified seclusion, a type of the 
early homes of the prosperous colonists. No transfer by deed 
has been passed of the Varnum property since the early grant 
from John Webb to Samuel Varnum in 1664, and the name of 
Varnum has always been prominently associated with all the 
political, church and social life of Dracut. 

On Varnum Avenue, near the terminus of the electric 
car line, stands a small building known as the Coburn Mission. 
It was the first school house built in the town of Dracut and 
was erected in 1755. As that part of Dracut has been now 
annexed to Lowell, it is the oldest school building within the 
limits of this city. In this little building a great part of the 
business of the colonists in this neighborhood was transacted, 
and tradition records that, at the time of the Revolution, the 
Committee of Safety met within its walls. 

On the road leading from Pawtucketville to the Navy 
Yard is the site of the famous Garrison House of Dracut. It 
was built about 1669 Dv Edward Colburn as a place of protection 
for the early settlers against the hostile Indians. The old 
histories of Dracut tell of some fiery encounters at the old 
Garrison House and of one woman, who single-handed, defended 
herself and children against an attacking party of Indians. The 
old house has been torn down and it seems sad that such an 
interesting memento of the early New England life should have 
been destroyed. 

Retracing our steps through this part of Lowell which 
was formerly a historic neighborhood of Dracut, and re-crossing 
the river at Clark's Ferry, we reach the spot that was the head 
of the "Old Middlesex Canal." For its time, this enterprise was 
a wonderful feat of engineering and was the first canal in the 
United States opened for the transportation of travellers, and 


until the introduction of railroads, the Middlesex Canal was 
of great public benefit. Lumber and grain from the upper Merri- 
mack, with other products of the country, found their way 
through the canal to Boston where they were exchanged for 
the commodities of the city, which were transferred back by 
means of the canal into the country. But in a few years after 
the completion of the railroads, the canal was discontinued, and 
now nearly all traces of it are obliterated. 

Not far from the head of the Canal, the. "Old Highway" 
touches Middlesex street, and on it is found all that is left, of 
the once famous Chelmsford Glass Works. These work.^ were 
established here in 1802 by Boston manufacturers and at one- 
time made a prominent industry in the little town of Chelmsford, 
but now not a vestige remains of the dismal old wooden factory, 
black with the smoke of the big furnaces. One of the tenement 
houses is still standing that were built by the glass company, and 
it causes one to think of an unhappy ghost, doomed to haunt the 
scene of its former prosperity. 

On another old road now known as Pine street is seen 
the Henry Parker house, opposite the Highland School. No 
other family but the Parkers has been in possession of this 
estate since the Indians sold their claims to Wamesit, yet it 
is impossible to decide when the first Parker set up his home 
on the present attractive site. But one Benjamin Parker, the 
record of whose birth is given as 1663, is supposed to have been 
the first of the family to locate here. In the early Indian 
struggles, and also in the Revolutionary War, young men have 
gone forth from this homestead to perform their part with valor 
and bravery. 

Following the old lane over which childish feet passed 
and re-passed so many years ago to the little red schoolhouse 
that stood near 'what is now the corner of School and W^estford 
streets, we recall that one of the pupils in this school was 


Benjamin Pierce, afterwards governor of New Hampshire and 
father of Franklin Pierce, president of the United States. 

School street, which takes its name from this "ancient 
seat of learning," winds along by the old cemetery over the hill 
to Pawtncket street near what was once the residence of Captain 
Ford, famous in our Revolutionary struggle, and which is still 
occupied by the descendants of his family, Mrs. Alary Earl Wood 
and Miss Josephine Earl. In the same spacious grounds and 
on the site of the old barn belonging to the Captain Ford estate, 
is the residence of Mrs. Henry A. Lambert, a direct descendant of 
the third generation from Captain Ford. 

When the alarm was sounded April 19th, 1775, Captain 
Ford was at work in his sawmill which was near his home. 
Hastening to his house for the necessary equipments, he started 
at once for Chelmsford Centre, to join the company that went 
from there. Captain Ford also served at Bunker Hill and 
Ticonderoga, and marched against Burgoyne. After the war 
had closed, he resumed his activity in business and resided, dur- 
ing the subsequent years of his life, at this house on Pawtncket 
street where he ended his days. 

His grave is in the little Burying Ground opposite Paw- 
tucketville Church, to reach which his funeral procession passed 
over the old bridge of which he had been one of the chief 
owners and promoters. 

Next below the Ford House was the Spalding Homestead, 
now owned by the Molly Varnum Chapter D. A. R. This house 
was built about 1760 by Robert Hildreth, and during the early 
history of the house it seems to have changed owners quite 
frequently, having been the property of seven different men 
in succession before it was purchased as a home by Mr. Joel 
Spalding in 1790, thirty years after its erection. One of its 
owners was Captain Ford, who lived in the adjoining house. 

At one time the house was known as the Davis Tavern 
and was largely patronized by the raftsmen and loggers who 


floated their logs down the river from the New Hampshire 
forests, and stopped at this tavern for rest and refreshment he- 
fore starting again on the river-drive to the sea. 

Following the Merrimack river along its restless way, 
we remember that where the French-American Orphanage now 
stands, formerly the home of Frederick Ayer on Pawtucket 
street, was once the wigwam of Wannalancit, and around the 
dee]) pools at Pawtucket Falls gathered the Merrimack Valley 
Indians in the fishing season. Their camping grounds spread 
over a large part of what is now Pawtucketville, and where 
the Textile School now stands was one of their favorite rent- 
ing places. Numerous arrow-heads and other Indian weapons, 
also stone mortars and curious cooking utensils have been found 
near its site. 

Passing- by what, at a later period, were the Cheever and 
Fletcher Farms, we pause a moment at the bounds of the latter 
to note that on Worthen street, which passes through the original 
Fletcher Farm, was born in 1832, James Abbott McNeil Whistler, 
the noted artist, in the house now the property of the Lowell Art 

Above the junction of the Concord and Merrimack rivers 
where Central Bridge is located, was maintained for many 
years, a ferry, well known in local history as Bradley's Ferry. 
It was in use according to the early records in 1737 and probably 
many years previous to that date. It was owned and managed 
by Joseph Bradley who also built Barron's Hotel situated near 
the ferry landing. The old house is still standing on First 
street and was known for many years as the Centralville Flouse. 

Following the main highway to Dracut one passes what 
for many years has been known as the "Wire W r orks," but in 
its days of pristine grandeur it stood where now is the Varnum 
School and was the famous Dracut Academy. 

On Hildreth street, although not on its original site, i< 
the "Hildreth Homestead," built in 1784 by Lieutenant Israel 



Hildreth, who served his country both on sea and land during 
the Revolutionary War. liis aged father Elijah Hildreth closed 
his days in this house and here was horn Dr. Israel Hildreth, 
for many years the leading" physician in all this region. Hon. 
Fisher Hildreth, who held many important state and town offices, 
was of the fourth generation of the Hildreths who had lived in 
this old homestead, and the name of Hildreth stands out pre- 
eminent in the Colonial and Revolutionary life of Dracut. 

Retracing our footsteps, we pass the ancient "Hildreth 
Burying Ground," given to the town of Dracut by Lieutenant 
Hildreth and which up to the present day has been the final 
resting place of many memhers of this historic family. 

Near where are now the immense manufactories of the 
Uoott Cotton Mills stood in 1674 an humble log, cabin. Here the 
Indian magistrate Numphow held a monthly court, and to this 
cabin, every May for many years, came Judge Gookin who used it 
as his court house in the settlement of the important grievances 
and offences among" the Indians of Wamesit. 

Over a hundred years ago, a few steps from what is now 
Merrimack Square, was the Nathan Tyler house, surrounded by 
far-reaching and fertile fields. The farm was of large extent 
embracing land now occupied by the Carpet Mills and reach- 
ing beyond Palmer street. It is difficult to transform the scene 
of Lowell's greatest activity today with its rush of electric cars, 
its busy mills and crowded lodging houses, and the constant 
tread of hurrying feet, into the quietness of the "green pastures 
and still waters" that the same sun shone down upon a century 
ago. The house, which was one of the most pretentious of 
its time, was built by Mr. Nathan Tyler from lumber prepared 
by him at his sawmill at Pawtucket Falls. Here .Mr. Tyler, 
with his goodly family of seven sons and three daughters, dwelt 
for a number of years, and today his numerous descendants are 
among Lowell's most honored citizens. Finally Mr. Tyler 
sold a part of this estate to the originator^ of the Merrimack 


Manufacturing Company and built another residence at Middle- 
sex Village which still bears tbe title of the "Tyler Homestead," 
and is now occupied by Mrs. Samuel Tyler and her daughter 
Miss Susan Tyler, the ladies who were the doners to this city of 
the magnificent gift of Tyler Park. 

After the purchase of the Nathan Tyler house by the 
Merrimack Company the old house was converted into a hotel 
and became known as the "Old Mansion House." Captain 
Jonathan Tyler had the hospitable charge of the "Mansion 
Mouse" for a term of years, and under his management the hotel 
became of great importance in the life of the new and thriving 
town, and was the scene of many a festive gathering, but the 
increasing encroachments of the mill properties in its neighbor- 
hood eventually caused the removal of the old hotel. Part of 
it stands now at the corner of Salem and Dane streets, a re- 
minder of "Auld Lang Syne." 

Farther up the hill on the site which St. John's Hospital 
now occupies and of which it has become a part, was. a stately 
structure in the early days of Lowell, which at different epochs 
in its history was called the "Gedney House," the "Old Yellow 
House" and the "Livermore Mansion." The land on which 
it stood was part of the original grant to Madam Winthrop, wife 
of Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts. The house was erected 
about 1750 by one Timothy Brown, the heavy lumber for its 
construction being obtained of Captain Ford at his sawmill near 
Pawtucket Falls, but the interior wood work was prepared in 
England and then shipped to this country. 

After changing owners once or twice, the estate came into 
the possession of Phillip Gedney, a former British Consul who 
had left his home for political reasons and wdio chose this place 
for his residence, and lived here for a number of years. 

Then after varying experiences, one of which was the use 
of the old house as a tavern, it found another purchaser in Judge 
Edward St. Loe Livermore. At this. period, the estate consisted 


of about two hundred acres of land, which, enclosing the imposing 
mansion standing on a high elevation laid out with spacious 
lawns and avenues, made a truly magnificent home for its dig- 
nified owner. 

Judge Livermore named his estate "Belvidere," a title 
which now embraces all the surrounding suburb. The members 
of Judge Livermore's family were distinguished for brilliancy 
of intellect and strength of character. But the memory of the 
gifted yet erratic daughter of the house, Harriet Livermore, who 
was immortalized by Whittier in "Snow-Hound" will make it 
impossible for Lowell residents to ever allow the fame of the old 
"Livermore Mansion" to sink into oblivion. These are the words 
written of her by Whittier : 

"A women tropical, intense ; 

In thought and act, in soul and sense ! 
She blended in a like degree 
The vixen and the devotee ! 
Since then, what old cathedral town 
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown! 
What convent gate has held its lock 
Against the challenge of her knock ! 
And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray. 
She watches under Eastern skies, 
With hope each day renewed and fresh, 
The Lord's quick coming in the flesh, 
Whereof she dreams and prophesies !" 

Following the Merrimack river along what is now known 
as Andover street, we find at its junction with the Old County 
Road, the Moses Worcester farm. This farm was purchased in 
1748 of Samuel Hunt by Moses Worcester and a portion of it 
has remained in the possession of his descendants to this day. 
Near what was the site of the original farm house is the 
residence of Mrs. Richard W. Baker and family, of direct descent 
from Aloses Worcester. On the opposite side of the road and 
in a remarkable state of preservation is the house built in 1802 
by a grandson of the original owner, Eldad Worcester. The 
Worcester family bore a prominent part in the church as well as 
in the town affairs of Tewksbury. 



Turning off from Andover street is what is now known 
as Clark Road, but was for many years in the early history of 
Tewksbury but a bridle path to the church and settlement. This 
road runs through the territory which in 1691 Samuel Hunt 
bought from the heirs of Madam VVinthrop. In the old records 
is found a copy of the deed from Joseph Hunt to Captain Jonas 
Clark of Clark's Tavern, who bought one hundred acres of this 
territory in 1737 as a gift to his son Thomas. The original 
Clark house was in a field west of Clark Road and from its door 
Lieutenant Thomas Clark responded to the alarm of the 19th of 
April and led the company from North Tewksbury to the scene 
of action. In 1790 a more pretentious house was built on Clark 
Road, and this property has been continually in the possession 
of the Clark family since its original purchase. The old house, 
guarded by sheltering trees, gives promise to withstand the 
ravages of time for many years to come, and in this home 
Lieutenant Thomas Clark ended his days and now rests from 
his deeds of valor in the old Clark Burying Ground, but a short 
distance from the house. 

in Colonial times, the Hunt Garrison House stood on 
the hill overlooking the farm, but the only vestige that remains 
of its history is a hearth-stone brought from its ruins and now 
standing in the yard of the old Clark House. 

Farther clown this historic old road are two picturesque 
homes over which a century has passed, apparently leaving them 
unchanged from their early days — the residence of the late 
Joshua Clark, and the Hunt Homestead. Until a very recent 
date the Hunt property has not been out of possession of the 
Hunt family since the original purchase by Samuel Hunt in 
1 69 1 from the estate of Madam YYinthrop. 

Retracing our steps to the Concord river we stop a 
moment to gaze on its placid surface, trying to picture to our- 
selves the period when its banks were the rendezvous of Indians 
who came in tribes to gather fish from its generous bosom. The 


good Eliot and Gookin are said to have taken advantage of 
these fishing seasons to improve the .spiritual and moral con- 
dition of the Indians, and from Massic island they told their 
dusky listeners of the "Great Father." Not only the Indians hut 
the English settlers found in the waters of the Concord and 
Merrimack an abundant supply of fish— the rivers at that time 
teeming with salmon, shad and alewives. But instead of the rude 
devices used by the Indians, the fish were taken in great numbers 
in nets and seines. Alas! the old fishing spots are no more 
available and their traditions are all that remain. 

Before leaving the Belvidere side of the river, we must 
speak of Fort Hill Park, which received its name from the fact 
that Wannalancit, the last Sachem of the Merrimack Valley 
Indians, built a fort here as a protection against his enemies, the 
Mohawks. For many years this park was a yearly rendezvous 
of the Indians, and it is interesting to remember when visiting 
this spot, where landscape artists with most consummate taste and 
skill have ornamented the grounds with shrubs and foliage, that 
here once the painted savages in war-like array crouched in 
ambush behind a rocky barricade, waiting an attack from deadly 
foes, and that where now are conventional fountains and a 
brilliant display of cultivated dowers, the Indians drank the 
water bubbling from the ground, and lay at rest on the grassy 
banks of the hill. 

Nearly a mile from the old Concord Ferry, following the 
line of what is now Central and Appleton street, stands the Eliot 
Congregational Church, built near the site of the log cabin where 
the Indian preacher "Samuel" taught his crude ideas of the 
Christian's God, to his tribesmen, in weekly meetings, and where 
the missionary John Eliot preached with fervor and eloquence 
to the Red A ten of the "Great Father" over all. 

Continuing on an old road that at one time touched Hale 
street, is found a massive boulder that marks the site of the 


"Old Rock Tavern," once the homestead of Benjamin Butterfield. 
The Butterrield farm extended on both sides of the old Chelms- 
ford Road for a long - distance, and embraced a large portion of 
what is now known as Aver's City. This property has descended 
through several generations of Butterfields and tracts of it arc 
still held by members of the family. 

Not far from this point is an ancient water-way which at 
the present time is widely known as Hale's Brook. On its banks 
in 1790, was erected by Moses Hale, the first woollen mill ever 
started in Middlesex County. The building is still standing, but 
is now used as a tenement house. 

This small beginning was the nucleus of what became in 
after years large and prosperous industries, including the woollen 
mill, a lumber business and the manufacture of 1 gunpowder. 
Air. Oliver Whipple became associated in business with Air. Hale 
and continued the business when the latter retired. The powder 
business was enlarged from time to time and finally reached the 
efficiency of manufacturing a million pounds of gunpowder in 
one year. The fame of these works grew to such an extent 
that the Governor of the State and his Council made an official 
visit to them. Mr. Hale also built in this vicinity a large man- 
sion afterwards owned by Joshua Swan and his heirs, which 
remained a prominent landmark in that locality until about 
two score years ago. 

The house was three stories high with brick ends and 
heavily timbered. People gathered from all the neighboring- 
towns to view the raising of the immense structure. Tables 
were spread on the extensive grounds for their refreshment and 
the "raising" was made a time of general festivity. The event 
was considered of great importance at that date and has passed 
into the annals of Lowell. 

A short distance from Hale's Mill following the ''Old 
Salem Road" is Parker street, which has an interest for us in 
that it is one of the oldest highways within the boundaries of 


Lowell and also because the "Old Marshall Tavern" is on this 
street. It stands on a slight elevation, and with the extensive 
grounds in the rear and the ancient poplars in front, differs but 
little in appearance from the time of its erection about 1790, and 
it is not difficult for us to fancy the stout country teams, loaded 
with produce and driven by sturdy farmers who have left their 
homes weary hours before, stopping at the hospitable entrance 
for "refreshment for man and beast ere they continue their 
journey to Salem." The old house has resounded with laughter 
and hearty greetings, and even now has a mellow cast of 
countenance as if musing over some of the old jokes. But alas! 
hosts and guests have all gone long ago beyond that "bourne 
from which no traveller returns." The "Old Marshall Tomb," 
across the road from the tavern, opened its portals to receive 
all that was mortal of "mine hosts," and stood for over a century 
a reminder of old fashions and customs, but the hand of the 
destroyer has reached even that and the old tomb is no more. 

A short by-path leads from the old tavern to Chelmsford 
street. It was in this neighborhood that Benjamin Pierce lived 
until manhood. His home was with his uncle whose house stood 
near the site of the farm belonging to the Orlando Blodgett 
estate, and whose farm embraced a generous extent of the sur- 
rounding country. When the signal of alarm was given April 
19th, 1775, Benjamin Pierce was ploughing in a field off Powell 
street. Hitching his team of steers to a stump, he took his gun 
and started for Concord on foot. He served through the 
Revolutionary War, and afterward went to New Hampshire to 
live, and was twice elected Governor of that state. He often re- 
visited his early home, taking great pleasure in showing the 
historic stump on Powell street. 

As we follow the old winding Chelmsford Road, passing 
by the boundaries of the original Chamberlain, Pierce and Coburn 
farms, we can almost see the "embattled farmers" of over a 

List of Papers Read Before the Society in 1909. 

"The Centennial Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln." 
February 15, 1909. 

"Early Days of Railroading'." Herbert C. Taft. March 
2, 1909. 

"The Battle of Bunker Hill and Those who Participated 
Therein from the Towns from which Lowell was Formed." Mrs. 
Sara Swan Griffin. May 12, 1909. 

"Reminiscences of the First Five Clergymen of Chelms- 
ford." J. Adams Bartlett. October 13, 1909. 

"Old Homes and Flistoric Byways of Lowell." Mrs. Sara 
Swan Griffin. December 9, 1909. 

The Prizes offered by the Lowell Historical Society to 
the Graduating Class of the Lowell High School, for the best 
essays on "Lowell the Site for a Beautiful City," were awarded 
as follows: — 

First Prize, $10 in gold, to Miss Tessie G. Curry. 
Second Prize, $5 in gold, to Miss Geneva M. Coggins. 



Page 9. After the word "Lowell" at the end of the second 

paragraph of the Introduction, add "at the date of its 
incorporation as a city in 1H36, that being a condition 
of membership." 
" 36. In the seventeenth line substitute "by" for "be" 

before the word "travelling." 
47. The address of Rev. A. St. John Chambre on "A 

Trip Abroad," was given October 14, 1903. 
72. In the fourth line from the bottom of the page, 

substitute "at" for "as" before the w r ord "once." 



Abbott, Edward 0. 

Josiah G,, 
Abenakis Indians, 
Actinollte, 341. 
Adams, Austin, 19! 





Charles Francis, 369. 
Eben, 181, 183, 198, 

House, 181. 
John, 198, 199. 
John, 237. 
John, 433. 
John R., 198, 199. 
Josiah, 34, 35. 
Martha, (Miss), 198, 
Mary, 41. 
Mary, 111. 

99, 214, 245, 



) 17. 




Thomas, 92, 

Thomas, 103 

Timothy, 433. 

William, 198, 3 
C. A., 138. 
John A., (Rev.), 



03, 104, 105, ii3» 

209, 210. 



[90, 207. 

Alcott, Amos Bronson, 165, 168, 169. 
Alexander, James, 433. 
Allanite, 341. 
Allen, Charles, 147. 

Charles II., 15, 138, 139, 361. 

Charlotte A., (Mrs.), 361. 

Edward A., 361. 

Ethan, 421. 

Jennie L. (Miss), 361. 

John, 349, 350. 

Otis, 15, 360. 

Otis, (Dr.), 361. 

Samuel, 425. 

Thomas O., 15, 360. 

Wilkes, 103, 108, no, 270, 325, 339. 
Allin, John, 93, 95, 98. 
Allston, Washington, 26, 27. 
American House, 245. 
Amerinds, 302, 303. 
Ames, Oliver & Sons, 328. 
Amianthus, 341. 

Andover & Wilmington R. R. Co., 397. 
Andrew, (The Indian), 324. 
Annis, Phineas, 435. 

Annual Report, Ex. Com. 1902-3, 11. 
1903-4, 4^. 
1904-5, 80. 
1905-6, 120. 
1906-7, 156. 
1907-8, 287. 
1908-9, 357- 
Ansart, Atis, 64. 

Louis, (Col.), 54, 79- 80, 454. 
Apatite, 341. 
Army Life Among the Indians in Dacotah 

in 1864-65, 47. 
Arnold, Oliver, 70. 
Atherton, Abel T., 334. 
Atkinson, John, 349, 350. 

Sarah, 353. 
Atwood, Joshua, 268. 
Atzerodt, George A., 378. 
Auger, Robert, 433. j 
Austin, Benjamin, 57, 60. 
Avery, John, 59. 

John, 371. 
Ayer, James C, 138. 

Frederick, House, 458. 
Sally, (Miss), 347. 

Bacheller, Albert L., 155. 

Anne Maria, (Mrs.), 187. 
Bagley, Orlando, 349. 
Bailey, John A., 155. 
Baker, Adelaide, (Miss), 159. 
Amy, (Miss), 159. 
Edward D., 375. 
Frank Leslie, 159. 
Frederick Warren, 159. 
John, 1 59- 

Richard W., (Mrs.), 461. 
William, m. 
Baldwin Apple, 25. 

Cyrus, 181, 203, 221. 
Cyrus, (Mrs.), 183, 204, 205. 
Henry, 25. 
Hill, 248. 
House, 203, 204. 
James F., 404. 
Loammi, Jr., 26. 
Loammi, Sr., 25, 26, 226. 
William, 198. 
Ballard, Lydia, 306. 
Ballon, Ilosea Starr, 47, 49. 
Bancroft, J. Frank, 79, 81. 

Jefferson, 277. 
Barker, Ebenezer, 34. 
Moses, 435. 




Baron, Christopher, 258, 276. 
U arret, Margaret, 306. 

Moses, 189. 
Barrett, Amos, 174. 

Benjamin, 433- 
Isaac, 433. 
James, 174. 
John, 405. 

-(Col.), 422. 

Barron, Benjamin, 434. 
Henry, 434. 
John, 434. 
Moses, 113. 
Bartlett, Charles E. A., 50. 
George II., 125. 
Harriet M., (Mrs.), 50. 
Homer, 371, 373, 374- 
J. Adams, 467. 
Barton, George 11., 341. 
Bates, John, 433. 

Battle of Bunker Hill and Those Who 

Participated therein from the 

Towns from which Lowell 

Formed, 418-436. 

Bayles, James, 358. 

Bayley, David, 435. 

John, 435. 

Samuel, 435. 

Beard, Jonathan, 435. 

Beecher, Henry W., (Rev)., 280. 

Lyman, 262. 
Bellingham, Richard, 22. 
Belvidere, 461. 
Bennett, James W., 4, 50. 
Bent & Bush Hat works, 182, 

206, 208, 272, 273. 
Bent, Charles, 206, 207. 

Charles, (Mrs.), 207. 
Charles, Jr., 207, 210, 211, 
Mary, (Miss), 207. 
Sarah, (Miss), 207. 
Sarah B., (Mrs.), 207. 
Bernier, Alhertine (Miss), 356. 
Bewkel, Thomas, 433. 

Bibber, (Mrs.), 345. 

Rigelow, Andrew (Rev.), 38. 
Francis, 35. 
Jacob, 27. 
John P., 38. 
Timothy, 26. 
Billings, Charles T., 128, 162. 
Bird, Charles T, 327. 

Birkenshaw, ■ — , 389. 

Blanchard, Amos, 278. 

Hannah (Mrs.), 305, 306 
James, 305. 
John, 305, 306. 
Joseph, 306. 
Joseph, Jr., 306. 
Blodgctt, Orlando, 465. 


:i 2. 


B logged, Daniel, 94. 

Blood, Anne (Mrs. J, 306. 

Benjamin, 206, 238, 239. 
Mouse, 206. 

Joseph, 433- 
Nathaniel, 306. 
Nathaniel, Jr., 306. 

William, 30C. 

Bollcs, Prank (Mrs.), 41. 

Bolton Limestone Quarries, 339, 341. 

Boltonite, 341. 

Bond, Sarah (Miss), 207. 
Booth, John W., 378, 379- 
Boott, Kirk, 180. 
Boston & Albany, R. R., 397. 

Concord Boating Company, 230, 

Lowell R. R., 397, 400, 411. 

Providence R. R., 402. 

Worcester R. R., 402. 
Boundary Lines of Old Dunstable and 

Tyngsborough, 79. 
Boutwell, George S., 38. 

Bowdoin, James, 57. . 
Bowers, Alpheus, 183, 234. 

George, 113, 184. 

Jerathmel, 113, 118, 181. 

Jonathan, 202. 

Joseph (Col.), 183. 

House, 189. 

Sally, 40. 

Sewall, 183, 234. 

House, 452. 
Boyhood Reminiscences of Middlesex 

Village, 1S0-285. 
Boxborough Rifles, 269. 
Brackett, Mary, 307. 
Bradley, Ferry, 458. 
John, 434. 

Joseph, 458. 
Bradstreet, Simon, 22. 

Susan (Miss), 210, 211. 
Bridge, Ebenezer, 95, 102, 115, 116. 

Ebcnezer (Col.), 422, 426, 432, 433. 

John, 433. 
Bridges, Robert, 321. 
Brinley, Francis, 187. 
Britton, Samuel, 433. 
Brock, Greenleaf C, 286, 287. 
Bromficld, Henry, 319. 
Brooks, John (Maj.), 433. 
Brown, Aaron, 226. 

John \\\, 130. 

Samuel A., 293. 

Thomas Jr., 146. 

Timothy, 460. 

William, 349, 353. 

William, 433. 

William, 435. 
Browne, George Waldo, 295, 356, 357. 






Brownell, Elizabeth (Miss), »6. 

George, 83, 84, 85. 

l.ydia (Miss), 86. 
Brummagen Forge, 328. 
Buchanan, James (President), 367. 
Buckley, Peter (Rev.), 116. 
Bulkely, Peter, 24, 3-' 2. 

Billiard, r (Col.), 422. 

Bunker Hill, 27, 418. 
Burbank, Deborah, 40. 

Samuel, 192, 201. 
Burge, John, 105. 
Burgoyne, John (Gen.), 425. 
Burke, — - , 183, 188. 

Burnett, Harvey, 187. 
Burnsby, Jock, 278. 
Burroughs, George (Rev.), 346. 
Burt, John, 435. 
Bush, Francis, 201, 210. 

r, Benjamin F. (Gen.), 43, 12c 

208, 280, 383. 

Caleb, a, 34, 35, 36, 39. 
William O. (Gen.), 369. 
William, 92. 
Anna (Mrs.), in. 
Benjamin, 94. 
Benjamin, 433, 464. 
Deborah, 306, 307. 
Jonathan, 308. 
Joseph, 306. 
Joseph, Jr., 306. 
Lydia (Mrs.), 306. 
Nathaniel, 307. 
Nathaniel, Jr., 307, 308. 
Buttrick, James G., 122, 123. 
John, 123. 

John A. (Mrs.), 223. 
Martha (Miss), 123. 
Byam, George, 94, 104. 
Byham, Abraham, 116. 

Caddell, Alfred M., 128, 129. 

Calcite, 341. 

Caldwell, Edwin B., 158. 

John C. (Gen.), 138. 
Calhoun, John C, 154, 369. 

Callender, (Col.), 429, 432. 

Calvert, Frank, 215. 
Cambill, William, 433. 
Cameron, Simon, 395. 
Carlisle Copper Mine, 335. 
Carney, James G., 132. 
Carney Medals, 132. 
Carpenter, Frank B., 368. 
Cartwright, Peter, 375. 
Cass, Lewis (Gen.), 155, 369. 
Cates, John, 102. 
Caverly, Harold, 134. 
Cemeteries, Early, 79, 81. 
Chadbourne, Benjamin, 57. 

Chadwick, Ebcnezer, 242. 
Chamberlain, Edmund, III. 

Mary ( Mrs.), 111. 
Mary ( Mrs.), 1 1 / . 
Samuel, 306. 
Sarah (Mrs.), 306. 
Thomas, 94, 105, in, 306. 
Chambers, David, 433. 
James, 433. 
John, 433- 
Joseph, 433. 
William, 433. 
Chambre, A. St. John (Rev.), 29, 47, 48, 

155, 156. 
Chandler, George Hermon, 14. 

Samuel, 148, 149. 
Charming, Ellery, 172. 
Chapin, E. H., 280. 
Chase, Charles C, 131, 132, 136, 347- 
138, Francis N., 343, 347, 356, 358. 

Joseph, 217. 
Martha S. (Mrs.), 347. 
Sally A. (Mrs.), 347. 
Samuel (Rev.), 347. 
Chauncey, Charles (Rev.), 116. 
Chelmsford, Appolonian Temperance Brass 
Band, 191, 192. 
Copperas Mine, 33O. 
Courier, 182, 198. 
Class Company, 195, 198, 205, 

207, 270, 272, 325, 456. 
Limestone Quarries, 338. 
Chelmsford ite, 341. 
Chesley, Sally, 43. 
Child, Cromel, 7°- 

Linus, 370, 371, 374. 
Choate, Rufus, 147, 148, 149. 15". i5'» i5-< 
Chrondrodite, 341. 
Christo (Indian), 297. 
Christison, Wenlock, 115. 
Churchill, Sarah, 345. 
Clark, Alvan, 27. 

Burying Ground, 462. 
Ferry, 195, 453. 
f louse, 464. 
Jonas, 452, 462. 
Joshua, House, 435. 
Tavern, 452, 462. 
Thomas, 462. 
Thomas (Rev.), 95, 452. 
Thomas M., 129, 134. 
Timothy, 181, 452. 
William M., 365, 374, 375. 
Clay, Henry, 369. 
Cleaveland, Enoch, 433. 
Clement, Asa, 222. 
Jesse, 222. 
Moses, 434. 
Clinton, Henry (Gen.), 425, 428, 430. 
Clough, Daniel, 434. 


Coalbrookdale J run Co., 388. Daley, John T., 324. 

Cobbet; John (Rev.), 93. 95- Dalghren, John A (Adm.), 293. 

Oobmn, Cliarlcs B., 14. J hum, Lorin L., 228. 

Ldward, 455. Dana, David, 82. 

Prank F., 132, 136. Francis, 57. 

Franklin, 14. Danderly, John, 435. 

George B., 69, 79, 81, 155, 358. Davidson, Alexander, 433. 

Luther W., 335. Francis, 433. 

Mission, 455. Davis, Abby Frances (.Miss), 289. 

Phineas, 434- Benjamin, 347. 

Peter (Capt.), 434- Daniel, 57. 

Smith, 435- Oat truth, 347. 

Sybil (Miss), 201, 202. Mary (Mrs;), 308. 

Coe, F. W., 30. Mary A. (.Mrs.), 292. 

Coggins, Geneva M. (Miss), 444, 467. Ruth (Mrs.), 347. 

Colburn, Edward, 455. Sally (Mrs.), 347. 

Colby, Dorothy (Miss), 347. Samuel, 308. 

Collins, Edward .[., 34. Samuel, 308. 

Colson, Israel, 237. Seth, 34. 

Company of Undertakers for the Iron Timothy, 434. 

Works, 321. Dean, Benjamin, 51. 

Concord Iron Works, 322. De Marisquelles, Louis, 63. 
Concord River, The, in History and . Marie Louis Amand 

Literature, 164-174. Ansart (Colj. 54, 

Conklin, Harold P., 128. 68, 45,4. 

Contributions, 9. Robert, 63. 

Coolidge, Joseph, 401. D'Estaing, Charles II. (Adm.), 60. 

Cooper, Isaac, 50. Dexter, Franklin, 147. 

Mary, 309. George M., 404. 

Corey, Martha, 346. Dickens, Charles, 281. 

Corresponding Members, 8. Didson, Seth, 434. 

Corw in, Jonathan, 346, 348, 354. Dimon, Charles A. R., 47, 48. 

Cory, Oliver, 433. Dinsmoor, James, 50. 

Goryl, Alexander H., 324. Discoveries and Inventions of 19th 
Cowles, Martha S. (Miss), 347. Century, 281, 284. 

Cowley, Charles, 4, 47, 48, 81, 119, 122, 280, Dixwell, John, Jr., 117. 

288, 292, 293. Dix, Joel, 237. 

Cox, Unite, 32. Donohoe, Michael T., 138. 

Cragie, , 181. Douglass, Stephen A., 367, 376. 

Crosby, Benjamin, 434, 435. Dow, Jesse, 433. 

Caleb, 13. Louis IT. (Prof.), 33. 

Crossley, Robert, 213. Downer, Robert, 351. 

Crow Eddy, 247. Downing, George, 99- 

Crowninshield, Richard, 240. Dracut Academy, 458. 
Cumberland Valley R. R., 396. Garrison House, 4.^5. 

Cummings, Elizabeth (Mrs.), 308. Nickel Mine, 329. 

John, 308. Nickel Mining Company, 334- 

John, 308. Drake, A. L., 32 S. 

John, Jr., 308. Lincoln (Capt.), 326, 327, 3^8. 

Sarah (Mrs.), 308. L - S - 328. 

Thomas, 308. Drum > James, 4 33- 

Cumnock, Alexander G., 4. P udley ' Thomas, .66. 

^ . , ,^ Dumas, Levi, 361. 

Currier, Jacob B., 4, 159, 290, 291. p. ., , r , ' , . , • , 

• . ' J J Dunstable, Boundarv Lines of, 7g. 

Moody, 130. ^ „ . , 

■ ° Dunster, Faith, 305, 

Curry, Tessie G. (Miss), 437, 467. Durant. Joshua, 435. 

Curtis, George William, 172, 280. Durkee House, 453. 

Cushing, Caleb, 57, 278. Dutton. John, 435. 

Nathan, 60. Timothy, 455. 

Thomas, 57, 60. Dwight, Timothy (Rev.), 327. 




Earle, Alice Morse (Miss), 113. 

Josephine II., 155, 457. 
Early Days of Railroading, 3884 17. 
Early Mining Operations near Lowell, 

316-342, 356, 337. 
Early Settlements at Jamestown, 286. 
Early Special Legislation relating to 

Lowell and Vicinity, 286. 
Last, Joseph, 330. 
Eastern Railroad, 397. 
Eaton, Joseph, 340. 

Ebert House, 202. 
Eddy, Caleb, 237, 242. 

Robert II., 237. 
Edson, Theodore (Rev.), 29, 135. 
Edwards, Josiah, 1S6. 
Lliot, Edmund, 352. 

John, 167, 4 (>3- 
Ely, F, W. (Mrs.), 363. 
Emerson, Parker, 433. 

Ralph W., 24, 165, 170, 173, 

174, 280. 
William, 74, 434. 
Endicott, John (Gov.), 18, 20, 93, 95, 115. 
English, Joe, 297, 3 10, 311, 312, 313. 
Lozoon, 341. 
Erskine, Edith (Miss), 162. 
Esterbrook, Moses, 433. 
Lyre, John, 32 _•. 

Farley, Benjamin, 433. 

George, 1 1 1. 
Farmer, Solomon, 433. 
Larwell, Henry, 103, 104, 307. 
Henry, Jr., 307. 
Josiah, 307. 
Mary (Mrs.), 307. 
Oliver, 307. 
Faulkner, Richard, 255. 
Fellows, James K., 82. 
Ferries on the Merrimack, 79, 81. 
Ferrin, Henry K., 201, 207. 
Ferry, The Clark, 195. 

The llamblet-Ansart, 64. 
Fielding, Fred A., 125. 
Henry A., 124. 
Philena J. (Miss), 125. 
Fields, Peter, 102. 
Fisher, Jabez, 57. 
Fiske, Anna, 100. 
Eliezer, 100. 
George \Y., 362. 
John (Rev.), 91-118, 122. 
John, Jr., 100. 
Moses, 100, 101, 112. 
Samuel, 101. 
Sarah, 100. 
Fitch, Zebediab, 434. 
Fletcher, Charles, 433. 

Custie (Mrs.), 306. 

Fletcher, Isaac Allen, 360. 
Josiah, 433. 
Joshua, 306. 
Paul, 306. 

Robert, 92. 

Timothy, 34- 

William, 92, 94, 1 1 1. 
Zaccheus, 433. 
Flint, John, 435. 

Thomas (Dr.), 292. 
Folsom, Samuel II., 44. 
Forbes, Franklin, 131. 
Ford, Llisha (Capt.), 201. 

John (Capt.), 155, 432, 433, 457. 
Forge Village Horse-nail Company, 324. 
Foster, Amos, 435. 
B. F'., 280. 
Edna (Miss), 139. 
George, 94- 
Isaiah, 433. 
Josiah, 434. 
Xathaniel, 433. 
Noah, 433. 
Phillip, 4.55- 
Reuben, 433. 
Timothy, 434- 
Fowler, [Iadley P. (Dr.), 382. 

Phillip, 435. 
Fox, Abijah, 434- 

Gustavus V., 129, 137, 138. 
Janus [',., 399. 
Jesse, 434- 
Joseph, 433. 
Josiah, 434. 

Lizzie R. (Mrs.), 79, 81. 
Framingham & Lowell Railroad, 415. 
Francis, Charles. 86. 

Elizabeth, S6. 
George L., 86. 
James, 86. 

James B., 86, 89, 399. 
Lydia (.Miss), 87, 89. 
Joseph Sidney, 87, 89. 
Sarah W. (Mrs.), 29, 30, 47, 48, 
S3, 84, 119, 121. 
Freeman', Samuel, 59. 
Freeze, James, 349. 
French, Josiah B., 34, 40. 

Luther, 40. 
Frost, Jacob, 435. 
Joseph, 435- 
William S., 34. 
Frothingham, Richard, 237, 242. 
Five, Ira. 232. 
Fuller, jasou, 51. 

Gage, Thomas (Gen.), 419, 423, 424, 425, 

Gardner, Henry, 57, 60. b 
Thomas, 434. 



Garrison House (Chelmsford), 45 2 - 

( Dracut), 455- 
Gedney House, 460. 
Phillip, 460. 
Geer, Frederick S., 192, 206, 271. 

Frederick S. (Mrs.), 206. 
Genealogical Research, 356, 358. 
Geography of Powell, 79. 
Georges, Robert, 18. 
Gilford, Alden I., 4(18, 409. 
Gile, Sally A. (Miss), 3 47- 
Gilman, Alfred, 370 373. 
Joseph, 335, 337. 
Gilmor, Robert, 223, 254. 
Thomas, 210, 273. 
Gilinore, Thomas, 210. 

Robert, 223, 254, 255. 
William, 273. 
Gilson, Joseph, 309. 

Joseph, Jr., 309. 
Mary (Mrs.), 309. 
Gips, Anne (Miss), 98. 
Glode, John, 433. 
Going, John K., 34. 
Goldsmith, Richard, 94, 110. 
Good, Sarah, 345, 354. 
Goodspeed, James, 243. 
Goodwin, William P., 358. 
Goodyear, Charles, 27. 
Gookin, David, 22, 32. 

Daniel (Judge), 459, 463. 

Gordon, (Rev.), 421. 

Gould, Ebenezer, 433. 
Gardner, 434. 
Jonathan, 435. 
Joseph 1)., 51. 
Levi, 46. 

Levi S., 17, 35, 46, 47, 48. 
Governor Sullivan (Steamboat), 229, 231. 
Grant, Frances, 308. 

Llysses S. (Gen.), 372, 377, 383, 
Gray, Jonathan, 435. 

Moses, 435. 
Green, Agnes H. (Mrs.), 205. 
John O. (Dr.), 221. 
Samuel A., 26, 32, 101. 
Greene, Nathaniel, 421. 
Greenhalge, Frederic T., 138. 
Greenleaf, John, 195. 

Gridley, Richard (Col.), 420, 423, 426. 
Griffin, Sara Swan (Mrs.), 54, 79, 80, 418, 
45i, 467- 

Griggs, (Dr.), 345. 

, 409. 

Groton Artillery, 269. 
Guyton, Patrick, 234. 

Patrick H. 234. 

lladley, Dorothy (Mrs.), 347- 
Jnne (Mrs.), 347- 

Ruth (Miss), 347. 
Samuel, 347. 
Samuel, Jr., 347. 

Samuel 1'., 81, 119, 121, 122, 140, 
155, 156, 162, jKo, 286, 558, 
365, 366. 
Hale, Ezekiel, 229. 
Hannah, 305. 
Moses, 464. 
Hale's Mills, 229. 
Hairy, Daniel, 102. 
Hall, Andrew, 226. 
Benjamin, 226. 
Ebenezer, Jr., 226. 
Laac, 4.US. 
John, 435. 
Willis, 226. 

( Rev.), 354. 

Hallet, George, 401. 
Hamblett, Jonathan, 434. 
Hammersmith, 321. 
1 lampton, John, 395. 
Hanks, S. W. ( Rev.), 284. 
Hancock, John (Gov.), 225, 425. 

John, 434. 
Harden, John, Jr., 375. 
Flardie, Robert, 2.0. 
Hardy, Daniel, 36. 
Harnden, John (Capt.), 435- 
Harrington, Jona, 144. 

Thomas F., 128. 
Harris, Sarah A. (Mrs.), 125. 

William, 435. 
Harrison, Benjamin (Pres.), Obsequies 

of. in Lowell, 275-27<>. 
Hart, Albert Bushnell, 4 7- 
Harvard, John, 24, 25. 
Harvey, William, 434. 
Hanvood, Harrison, 34, 35. 
Haselton, Elijah* 433. 
Haskins, John F., 324. 
Hassell, Richard, 116. 
Hastings, Walter, 433. 
Hathaway. John, 273. 
Ilathorn, John, 346, 348. 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. 24, 170, 184. 
Hay, John, 288, 365, 366. 

Life and Public Services of, 
Hayes, William H. I., 290. 
Hay ward. Benjamin, 433. 
Hazeu's History of Pillerica, 338. 
Heath, William (Gen.). 422. 
Henchman* Thomas, 103, 1.81. 
Herald (Steamboat), 279, 280. 
Herold, David L\. 379, 380. 
Hetton Railway, 390.1' 
I ley ward. Mary, 44. 



t 1 


Hibbard, Jose|)h, 435. 
Highlanders, 277. 
Highway to the Merrimack, 451. 
Hildreth, Burying Ground, 459. 

Charles L. f 363. 

Elijah, 459- 

Fphraim, 309. 

Fisher A., 374. 459- 
Homestead, 458. 
Israel, 459. 
Israel (Dr.), 459- 
James, 105. 
Micah, 434. 
Robert, 457. 
Hill, Jonathan, 307. 

Jonathan, Jr., 307. 
Mabel (Miss), 84, 119, 121, 128, 162. 
Alary (Mrs.), ^7 ■ 
Paul (Mrs.), 189. 
Rafe, in. 
Hills, Abijah, 434. 
Hinchman, Edmund, 100. 
Elizabeth, 100. 
Thomas (Major), 452. 

Hirsch, , 270. 

Historical Research and Historical 

Societies, 47. 
Hitchcock, Edward (Prof.), 339- 
Hoar, George l'\, 116, 171. 

John, 1 16. 
Holden, Hannah (Mrs.), 309. 
James F., 207. 
John, 308. 
Stephen, 308. 
Holmes, C). W., 280. 
Holt, Emma G. (Miss), 79, 81. 

John, 434. 
Holton, Samuel, 57. 
Homes, Old in Lowell, 451-466. 
Hopkins, Daniel, 57. 

Matthew, 343. 
Hopkinson, Thomas, 51. 
Horn, Samuel, 15. 
Horn and Allen House, 276. 
Hosford, Hocum, 414. 
How, Elizabeth, 346, 354. 
Howard, Amasa (Mrs.), 155. 
Caroline (Miss), 186. 
Charles, 186. 

Clarissa (Miss), 186, 212, 274. 
Harriett (Miss), 186. 
Jacob, 186, 195, 251. 

House, 188. 
John, 435. 
Mary (Miss), 189. 
Nathaniel, 184. 
Nathaniel, House, 184. 
(Mrs.), 184. 
Otis, 184. 
Samuel, 433. 

Howard, Willard, 181, 185. 

House, 181, 185, 255, 274. 
Howe, Flias, 27. 

Kirk, 239. 

William (Gen.), 425, 429, 430. 
Howlet, Sarah, 308. 
Hubbard, Elizabeth, 345, 349. 

Hunt, Garrison House, 462. 

Homestead, 462. 

John, 305. 

Joseph, 462. 

Nehemiah, 435. 

Paul, 435. 

1'eter, 435. 

Samuel, 305. 
Huntington, Asahel, 461, 462. 
Elisha (Dr.), 280. 

Hunton, , 224. 

Huntress, Joseph, 43. 

Leonard, 34. 35, 43. 45- 
Huicl, Thomas, 13, 307. 
Huse, 11. H., 138. 
Hutchinson, Anne, 1 15. 

lugersoll, Nathaniel, 348. 
Introduction, 9. 
Ireson, Floyd, 355. 
Irish, Cyrus W., 133, 137. 
Iron Works Farm, 322. 

Jackson, Patrick T., 180. 

Jamestown. The Early Settlement at, 

286, 2& 7 . 

Jaquest, Nehemiah, 434. 
Jefts, Hannah,' 308. 
Jenks, Joseph, 321, 322. 
Jenners, Samuel, 434. 
Jessop, — , 389. 

Jewell. Gustie, 306. 
John Indian, 344, 349. 

Sagamore Plantation, 181. 

Sagamore Reach, 240. 
Johnson, Edward, 93, 95. 
Jones, Olive, 41. 

Solomon, 434. 
Joy, Agnes !.., 385, 386. 

Keene, Laura, 378. 
Kemp, Edward, 94. 

Nathaniel, 433. 
Kempton, C. \Y., 336. 
Kencwa, 29O. 
Kendall, Amos, 38. 
Keyes, Daniel, 433. 

Frances (Mrs.), 308. 

John, 433. 

Solomon, 308, 433. 

Stephen, 308. 
Kidder, Josiah, 435. r' 
Killam, Austin, 94, 1 10. 

47 r > 


Kimball, John, 349, 352. 

Moses, 240. 
King, Ci. B., 409. 

Samuel, 242. 
King's Fifth, 330. 
Kingsley, Elizabeth, 308. 
Kittrcdge, Nathaniel, 434. 
Knecttle, John, 267. 
Knight, Joseph, 349. 
Knox, Henry (Gen.), 228. 

Lafayette (Gen.), 37, 54, 57, 64, 141. 
Lakin, John, 305. 

Joseph, 305. 
Lamb, William A., 188. 
Lambert, Daniel, 240. 

Henry A. (Mrs.), 457. 
Lankester, Joseph, 349. 
Larcom, Lucy (Miss), 167, 288. 
Latter Day Saints, 259-263. 
Laveston, Asa, 435. 
Lawrence, Abbott, ^8. 
Luther, 37. 
Samuel (Dr.), 289. 
Lawton, Frederick, 4. 

Leach, Shepard (Gen.), 325, 326, 2,-7, 3-8. 
Leach's Pond, 324. 
Legare, Hugh S., 143, 144. 
Legislation, Early Special, relating to 

Lowell and Vicinity, 286. 
Lenox Library, 107. 
Leonard, Eliphalet, 2-7- 

Llenry, 321, 3.12. 
James, 321, 222, 328. 
Lernett, Isaac, 92, 93, 94, m. 

Mary (Mrs.), 111. 
Lew, Barzilla, 435. 
Lewis, Mercy (Miss), 345, 34S, 349. 
Libbee, George F., 361. 
Libby Prison, 387. 

Limestone Deposits in Mass., 338, 339. 
Limonite, 322. 

Lincoln, Abraham, Centennial of, 365-387, 
(Mrs.), 383, 384, 385, 

Benjamin, 57. 
Lindsey, David, 434- 
List of papers read before Society, 



Littlehale, Daniel, 237- 
Little Pine Bridge, 229. 
Livermore, Edward St. Loe, 
George, 107. 








J 55 







Livermore, Harriet (Miss), 461. 

House, 460. 
Livingston, Charles F., 362. 
William, 15. 
William E., 276. 
Locke, Albert, 258. 
Joseph, 25,9. 
Long, Elizabeth, 307. 

John D., 44, 158. 
William R., 406. 
Longfellow, Henry W., 220. 
Longley, Deliverance (Mrs.), 308. 
Hannah (Mrs.), 305. 
Join,, 3-5. 
John, 308. 
William, 305. 
William, 308. 
Louis X \ I, 54, 65. 
Louisiana, The Cession of, 47. 
Lovewell, John (Capt.), 307. 
Lowell Advertiser. The, 27S. 
Daily Courier, 198. 
Geography of, 79. 
High School, 129-139. 
High School Essays, 1906, 126- 139. 
1907, 162-174. 
1909. 437-450. 
James R., 381. 
Maker-, of, The, 356. 
Phalanx, 269. 

Reminiscences of Early, 47. 
Site for a Beautiful City, 437-450. 
Lund, Thomas, 304. 
hunt, Alphonso M., 35. 

MacBrayne, Winfred C, 134. 
MacDanieK Tosei h H.. 133. 

Makers of Lowell. The, 25*. 
Manning Association, 171). 
Eliphalet, 435. 
Isaac, 435- 
Lucinda (Miss), 178. 
Manse, 155, 175-179. 
Samuel, 175. 
Samuel, 435. 
Warren 11., 179. 
William, 175, 177, 178. 
Mansion House, 460. 
Marden, George A., 160. 
Marisquelles, Marie Louis Amand Ansart, 

54- 79. 454- 
Marlborough Rifles, 269. 
Marshall, Joseph G., 409. 
Samuel, 433. 
Tavern, 465. 
Thomas 433- 
Tomb, 465. 
Martin, George, 347, 352. 




347, 1352, 353. 354. 358. 





334, 335, 
■ 139- 

337, 3-58. 

1. 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 
35 i- 
.Mather, Cotton, 95, 97, 100, 114. 
Increase, 95. 
Richard, 95, "5- 
McCullough, Hugh, 378. 
McFarlih, Luke, 198. 

Martha (Miss), 198. 
William 198, 215. 

McKenney, , 192, 193. 

McLachlan, Alex., 315. 
Meadow Road, 454. 
Mechanic Phalanx, 277. 
Melloon, John C, 205. 
Melvin, Jerome B., 333, 
Marietta (Miss) 
Merrill, Enoch, 195. 
Merrimack Boating Company, 230. 
Merritt, Daniel, 435. 

Merruwacoinct, 297, 310, 311, 312, 313. 
Middlesex Canal, 26, 85, 225-244, 401, 402, 
403, 455, 456. 
Incorporators of, 226. 
Proprietors of, 237. 
County, Ancient and Modern, 

Hotel, 452. 
Passage Boat, 231. 
Standard, 289. 

Tavern, 64, 181, 195, 196, 245. 
Village Schoolhouse, 221. 

Childhood Reminiscence; 

of, 180-285. 
Church, 208-216. 
Mail Coach, 245-246. 
Miller, William, 263. 
Millerites, 263-206. 

Mining, Early, Near Lowell, 316-342. 
Ministree, Old, 63, 454. 
Mishawum, 18, 20. 
Misticke Bridge, 22. 
Mohawks, 246. 
Monklands Railroad, 391. 
Moor, Deborah (Mrs.), 306. 

Samuel (Col.), 306. 
Moore, Ephraim (Mrs.), 270. 
Morgan Rifle Company, 268, 269. 
.Mormon Preachers, 259, 260. 
Morton, Marcus (Gov.), 144. 
Mount Misery, 214. 
Mount Pleasant, 214. 
Mullens Row, 256-258. 
Musketaquid River, 164, 169. 
Musquash Island, 253. 
Muster Field, Tyler, 266. 

Nashua & Lowell Railroad, 247, 397, 415. 
National Highlanders, 278. 
Naylor, Annie Louise (Miss), 162. 
Newman, Antipas, 106, 107. 

Nichols, Owen, 15. 

Nixon, John (Co!.), 429. 

Nolte, Justus, 273. 

\<nth, Susanna, 347. 

Norton, Jesse ()., 375. 

Norwich and Worcester R. R., 397. 

Nowell, Increase, 22. 

Noyes, James, 338. 

Person, 292. 
Nurse, Rebecca, 346, 354, 358. 

Nutting, John, 104. 

O'Connor, John, 411. 

( Jfficers, 3, 4. 

Old Colony Historical Society, 358. 

Highway to the Merrimack, 451. 

Homes and Historic Byways of 
Lowell, 451-466. 

Mansion House, 460. 

Marshall Ta 



, 405 

Rock Tavern, 464. 
Yellow House, 460. 

Olds, - (Rev.), 381. 

( )liver, Nathaniel, 322. 
( >rdway, Henry Morrill, 159. 
James, 159. 
Jeremiah (Dr.), 159. 
( (shorn, Sarah. 34O. 
Osgood, Joseph, 433. 

Packard, Alpheus S., 220. 
Asa, 218. 
("harks, 220. 
George, 220. 

Hezekiah (Rev.), 187, 208, 21 
216, 220, 274. 
Family, 220. 
Hezekiah, Jr., 220. 
Joseph, 220. 
Mary (Miss), 221. 
Sarah (Miss), 221. 
William, 188, 217. 
Page, John, 305. 

John (Gov.), 305. 
Jonathan, 305. 
Park, John C, 212. 
Parker, Abraham, 94, 104, 111. 
Anne, 306. 
Benjamin, 433, 456. 
Chester, 435. 
Eleazer, 307. 
Elizabeth, 307. 
Henry, House, 456. 
Isaac. 433- 
Jacob, 95. 
James, 109. 
James, 3q?. 
Joel, 38. ' 

47 8 


Parker, Jonas, 433. 
John, 433. 
Joseph, 95. i<>5, 1 1 1, 3^6. 

Leonard M., 34, 35. 

Margaret (Mrs.), m, 306. 
Moses (Col.), 433, 434. 
Moses, Jr., 435. 

Moses G. (Dr.), 365, 379, 381, 382. 
P. Hildreth, 358. 
Rose (Mrs.), 111. 
Samuel, 191, 192. 
Silas, 433. 
Theodore, 280. 
1 nomas (Rev.), 63, 454. 
Thomas, 195, 196. 
William, 195, 205, 27U. 
William, 409. 
William, 434. 
Parkerson, John, 308. 

Jonathan, 308. 
Mary (Mrs.), 308. 
Parkhurst, Martha (Miss), 223. 
Parkinson, Jonathan, 308. 
Parris, Elizabeth (Miss), 344. 

Samuel (Rev.), 344, 345, 34 G, 347, 
Parsons, George, 172. 
Joseph, 322. 
Passaconnaway, 297. 
Patrick, The, 406. 
Pawtucket Canal, 227. 

Peabody, (Miss), 167. 

Peach, Barnard, 349, 351. 
Pearce, Abby, 197. 

Deborah, 197. 
Jonathan, 197. 
Joseph, 197. 
Martha, 197. 
Pearson, James M., 124. 
Pease, Deliverance, 308. 
Peirce, Stephen, 114, 307. 
Stephen, Jr., 307. 
Tahitha (Mrs.), 307. 
Penacook Indians, 296. 
Penhallow, Lucy F. (Miss), 130. 
Penobscot Indians, 253. 
Pentucket Lodge of Masons, 189. 
Pepin, II. W. (Mrs.), 365, 381. 
Perham, Benony, 305. 
Charles, 4. 
David, 158, 340. 

Henry S., 91, 1 19-122, 158, 340. 
John, 304. 
Joseph, 304. 

Mary Anne (Miss), 222. 
Samuel, 305. 
Perkins, David, 340. 
Joseph, 305. 

Thomas Ilandyeside (Col.), 152. 
Petalite, 34 1. 

I'ettengill, , 195. 

L'helps, Joseph, 435- 

Phillips, Etta M. (Miss), 288. 

Samuel, 67. 

Stephen C, 275. 

Wendell, 280, 368. 

William, 57. 
Phlogopite, 341. 
Phoenix Engine Co., 271, 272. 
Pickering. Timothy, 78. 
Picwackett, 310. 
Tierce, Abby ( Miss), 209. 
Benjamin, 433. 

Benjamin (Gov.), y>7 , 457, 465- 
Deborah, 210. 

Franklin (President), 307, 457. 
Jonas, 433. 
Mary ( Miss), 210. 
Pierpoiit, jolin, 223. 
Pigot, Robert (Gen.), 428, 429, 430. 
Pitts, John, 60. 
Plats, Abel, 331. 

Mary (Mrs.), n ,i . 
Plum Island, 350. 
Pollard, Asa, 427. 
Pomeroy, Seth (Gen.), 428. 
Ponds and Rivers, Local, 79. 
1*001", Daniel, 196. 
I'oore, Fnoch (Col.), 421. 
Pope, - (Mrs.), 345. 

Population, Foreign, 282. 
Porter, David D. (Adm.), 386. 

Jonathan, 22C. 
Powell, Jeremiah, 60. 
Preble, Jedediah, 60. 
Prescott. James. 422. 

John, 32.], 324. 

Jonas, 323, 324. 

National Bank, 358, 

(Uiver, 226. 

Samuel, 174. 
William, 422, 426. 
Pressy, John, 349, 353. 
Price, James, 59. 
Prince, J. IX, 138. 
Proctor, Jasper P., 325. 

John (Prof.), 133. 

Robert, 105. 

Sarah, 306. 
Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on 

Merrimack River, 227. 
Pullman, George M., 396. 
Pulsifer, David, 101, 106. 
Purchis, Oliver, 322. 
Putnam, Ann (Mrs.), 345. 

Ann (Miss), 344, 348, 349, 350 

Israel (Gen.), 420. 

Thomas, 348. 
Pyroxene, 341. ) 

Pyrrhotite, 337. 




Railroading, Early Days of, 388-417. 
Rambles Abroad, 155. 
Ramsey, James P., 414. 
Rand, George, 237. 
Ran stead, William, 433. 
Rathburn, H. R. (Major), 379, 380. 
Raven Plume, 310. 
Read, Ezdras, 93, 94, 109. no- 
Joseph Henry, 34, 35, 44. 
Zaccheus, Jr., 44. 
Reade, Phillip, ((Jen.), 358. 
Redfield, Alexander H. (Col.), 375. 
Redshire Meadow, 325. 

Reed, i (Col.), 421, 428, 429. 

Reminiscences of First Five Clergymen 
of Chelmsford, 467. 
of Early Lowell, 47. 
Remme, Annette, 207. 

Frederick, 207, 270. 
Resident Members, 5-8. 
Revere Copper Company, 336. 

Paul, 164, 174. 
Richardson, Charles, 213, 214. 
Daniel, 41. 
Daniel, 42. 

Daniel S., 34, 35, 41. 
Ezekiel, 42. 
George F., 42. 
John, 305, 311, 323, 325. 
Jonathan, 113, 308, 323, 434. 
Josiah, 42, 113. 
Josiah, 42, 305. 
Mary (Mrs.), 308. 
Moses, 434. 
Robert, 433. 
Thomas, 308. 
William, 42. 
William A., 42. 
Ringg, Jarvais, 349, 354. 
Joseph, 349, 354. 
Robbins, Charles II., 333. 

Edward A., 67. 
Robinson, John, 429. 

T. P. (Dr.), 200. 
William, 405. 
Roby, Christopher (Capt.), 183. 

Luther, 237. 
Rock Tavern, 464. 
Rocket, The, 391, 392. 
Roper, John, 434. 

Zilpha M. (Miss), 288. 
Rowell, William, 433. 
Rowley, S. H. G., 232. 
Rumford, Count of, 26. 

Countess of, 205. 
Rushton, Alice, 304, 307. 
Russ, Frank, 188. 
Russell, Alonzo L., 124. 
James, 322. 
James S., 16, 130. 

Russell, William E. (Mrs), 41. 
Ryece, Robert, 96. 
Ryswick, Treaty of, 301. 

Sagamore Plantation, 181. 

Sahlite, 341. 

Salem Railroad, 415. 

Tunnel, 274. 
Salin halm, Pi nice, s, 385, 386. 
Sampson, E. M. (Capt.), 331. 
Sanborn, Frank B., 119122, 132, 173. 

Thomas" P., 171. 
Savaye, Janus E., 162, 356, 358. 

Minot J., 167. 
Sawyer, Alfred P., 79- 81, 126, 31C, 35; 

Amos, 434. 
Sawin House, 181. 
Scapolite, 341. 
Schoolcraft, Luke, 377. 

— , 377, 3/8. 
Scott, Walter (Sir), 150. 

Wintield S. (Gen.), 369. 
Sever, Jeremiah, 57. 
Sewall, Davis, '57. 

Samuel (Judge), 114. 
Seward, William II., 377, 378. 
Sharpies, S. P., 333. 
Sharpshooter, Experience of, 1 19. 
Shattuck, Edward H., 363. 
George P., 363. 
Horace P.. 363. 
Shaw, Abraham, 321. 
John 1'., 291. 
Lemuel, 26. 
Lucy G., 291. 

Melinda Caroline (Miss), 291. 
Shed. Ebenezer, 433. 
Shetld, - (Miss), 285. 

Sheldon, Arthur II. (Mrs.), 187. 
George T., 326, 327. 
Susanna, 345. 
Shepard, William, 124. 
Shepley, Ether (Judge), 304. 
John, 1 10. 
John, Jr., 304. 
Lydia, 304. 
Sherburne, Reuben B., 237. 
Sherman, John, 93, 95. 
Short, J. E., 406. 
Sickles, Daniel (Gen.), 385, 386. 
Simpson, Joseph, 60. 
Sladen, James A., 138. 
Smedley, John, 1 16. 
Smith, Abba (Miss), 200. 
Fannie R., 200. 
Isaac II., 206. 
Jesse, 183, 195, 200. 
Jesse J., 207. 
John I (Capt.), 18. 
John II., 200. 





Smith, Joseph, 259. 

Joseph W., 200. 

Joseph (Mrs.), 207. 

Lillian McCoy (Miss), 356. 

Mary, 200. 

Sidney, 141. 
Snow Shoe Scouts, 295-315, 356, 357. 
Snow, Levi, 187. 
Sokoki, 307, 310, 312. 
Southmayd, — - — , (Rev.), 190. 
Southwick, J. C.| 138. 
South worth, -- , 222. 

Spalding, Andrew, 308. 
Benjamin, 264. 
Ebenezer, 306. 
Edward, 92, 94, 306. 
Hannah (Mrs.), 308. 
Harriet (Miss), 187. 
Haskell, 207. 
Henry, 308. 
Homestead, 457. 
House, 27O. 
Joel, 457- 

John, Jr., 305, 309. 
John, Sr., 308. 
John V., 187. 
Jonas, 433. 
Joseph. 432, 433. 
Margaret (Mrs.), 306. 
Robert, 187, 198. 
Robert (House), 187. 
Robert (Mrs.), 187. 
Simeon, 189, 195. 
Timothy, 3119. 
Weld, 207. 
Spencer, Joseph, 420, 421. 
Spinel, 341. 
Sprague, Hannah, ^2. 
Levi, 12. 
John, 433. 
Ralph, 20. 
Richard, 30. 
William, 20. 
Spinner, Walter, 60. 
Stage Coaches, 245-247. 
Stanton, Edwin M., 378. 
Staples, Carl, 134. 

Stark, George (Gen.), 138, 184, 228, 229, 
John (Gen.), 421, 423, 428. 
Stearns, Frank K., 365, 381. 
Frank P., 17-'. 
Onslow (Gov.), 1S7. 
Stephenson, George, 39<\ 399- 

Robert, 28, 391, 403. 
Stevens, Barnabas, 434. 
Calvin, 406. 

Solon W., 11, 47, 48, 80, 120, 134, 
155, 156, 28G, 2S7, 288, 365, 
368, 381. 

St. Clair, Arthur (Gen.), 7 i- 

St. Francis Indians, 253. 

St. Lrsaline Convent, 85. 

Stickelmire, John J., 271. 

Stimpson, Mary, 308. 

Stockton & Darlington R. R., 390. 

Stoddard, - ( Rev.), 95. 

Stone, Charlotte A. (Mrs.), 292. 

Zina K., 292. 
Stony Brook R. R., 415. 
StOtt, Charles A., 4. 
Stourbridge Lion, 394. 
Straw, E. A. (Gov.), 129, 138. 
Streeter, L. R., 371, 373. 
Suckley, - , (Gen.), 382. 

Sullivan, James, 226. 

John (Gen.), 61. 
John L., 228, 229. 
William, 401. 
Sumner, Charles, 154. 
Surratt, John If., 379, 380, 381. 
Swan, Albeit G., 41. 

Charles W., 41. i 

Joseph, 13. 

Joshua, 34, 40. 

Joshua (Rev.), 41. 

Mercy, 307. 

Samuel, Jr., 226. 

William D., 41. 
Sweet, Lydia, 84. 
Sweetser, Paul II., 34, 35- 
Swett, Charles, 1S7, 188. 

Charles II., 187. 

Edmund, 188. 
House, 187. 
John, 188, 273. 
John F., 187. 
John PL, 1S8. 
Luke, 435- 
Samuel, 27. 
Stable, 188. 
Swift, Jonathan, 150. 

Taft, Herbert C, 388, 467. 
Talbird (Talbert) Peter, 305. 
Talbot, George, 305. 

Thomas (Gov.), 167. 
Taney, Roger A., 367, 376. 
Tarbel, Anna (Mrs.), 307. 

Thomas, 307. 

Thomas, Jr., 307. 
Tarbell, Abigail, 3(16. 
Taylor, Bayard, 280. 

John, 57, 434. 

Zachery (Gen.), 369, 372. 

Zalmon A., 331. 
Temple, Charlotte (Miss), 240. 
Tennyson, Alfred, 151. 
Thissel, John. 434, 435 . | 

Thomas, Isaiah, 37. 




Thomas, John (Gen.), 420, 423. 
Thompson, Benjamin, 26. 
Joshua, 435. 

Mary, m. 
Simon, 94, 1 1 1. 
Thoreau, Henry David, 24, 119, 122, 164, 

169, 241. 
Thorn dike, Ilezekiah, 435. 
Tibbettsj Henry L., 359, 360. 
Ticknor, George, 27. 
Tier, Robert, 433. 
Titanite, 341. 
Tituba, 344, 346. 
Tobin, - — , 133- 
Todd, Ruth, 305. 
Tower, Augustus, 33, 34, 35. 
Town send, David, 33, 34. 

Light Infantry, 269. 
Trevitt vs. Weeden, 72, 76, 77. 
Trial in the Days of Witchcraft, 343-355, 

356, 358. 
Trip Abroad, 47. 
Tufts, Samuel, Jr., 226. 
Turner's Circus, 252. 
Tnttel, Elijah, 434. 
Joseph, 434. 
Tyler, Artemas S., 189. 
Elizabeth, 200. 
Fanny, 200. 
Ignatius, 200. 

John (President), 143, 212. 
Jonathan, 191, 200, 460. 
Mary, 200. 

Mary Elizabeth, 197, 198. 
Muster Field, 266, 268. 
Nathan (Capf.)i 181, 183, 197, 200. 
House, 197, 199, 200, 246, 

258, 272, 459, 460. 
(Mrs.), 222. 
Otis, 200. 
Samuel, 200. 

Samuel (Mrs.), 152, 460. 
Silas, 189, 200, 201, 232. 
Susan (Miss), 460. 
William, 200. 
Tyng, Edward, 309. 

Fleazer (Col.), 309, 310. 
John, 309. 

Jonathan (Col.), 113, 309. 
Sarah (Mrs.), 309. 
William (Major), 113, 300, 304, 
309, 310, 313. 
Tyngsborough, Boundary Line of, 79. 

Underwood, Deborah, 307. 

Remembrance, 305. 

Sarah, 111. 

William, 94, 102, 111. 
Union Generals in the Civil War, Lowell 
and Vicinity, 119, 122. 

I'pham, Samuel O., 35. 
L'rsuline Convent, 39, 85. 
L'sher, Sarah, 309. 
Van Buren (President), 369. 

Van Dorn, — - — , 206. 

Varnum, Benjamin Franklin, 33, 34, 35, 39. 

Butterfield (Capt.), 186. 

Ebenezer, 434. 

Homestead, 455. 

Janus, 434. 

James Mitchell (Gen.), 61, 62, 
63, 69, Si, 287. 

James Mitchell (Capt.), 277. 

John, 433. 

John, 434. 

Jonas, 434- 

Joseph B., 39. 69, 78, 3^8, 330, 33 

Joshua, 434. 

Landing, 329, 335. 

Mercy (Miss), 204. 

Samuel, 69, 455. 

William, 434- 

Wackenfeldt, Gustavus Von, 27. 

Waitt, Joseph il., 34. 

Walcot, Jonathan (Capt.), 348. 

Mary, 345, 348. 
Waldo, Cornelius, 101, 110. 
Walker, Benjamin (Capt.), 433, 434, 435. 
Fliakim, 435. 
James (Rev.), 38. 
Walton, Daniel G., 34, 35. 
Wannalaneit, 297, 463. 

Ward, Artemas (Gen.), 60, 420, 422, 423, 
425, 426, 427, 428. 
William IL, 291. 
Warner, Mercy ( .Mrs.), 307. 
Richard, ^,7 . 
Samuel, 307. 
Warren, House, 200. 
Joseph, 200. 
Joseph, 420, 422. 
Mary, 345. 
Washington, George, 28, 71, 74, 218. 

John, 29. 
Watson, Abijah, 278. 
Weaver, Francis, 272. 

Frank L., 272. 
Webb, John, 455. 

John, House, 453. 
Webster, Daniel, 27, 140, 154, 155, 292, 
369, 401. 
Daniel, Some Reminiscences of, 

'40-154, 155, 156. 
Mary A. (Miss), 139. 

Weeden, , 72. 

Wells, Daniel, 147, 148. 
Wendall, Oliver, 60. 
( Wenham Company, 7], 94, 95. 

4 82 


Went worth, Tappan, 277, 371. 
Wcrnerite, 341. 

West ford Rifle Company, 275-276. 
Weston, Samuel, 226. 
Westinghouse, George W., 396. 
Wetherbee, Asa, 290. 

Sophia P. (Miss), 290. 
Wharton 1 , Eliza (Miss), 240. 
Wheeler, Abner, 33, 34. 
Whipple, Oliver, 464. 
Whistler, George W. f 28, 404. 

James Abbott McNeil, 28, 29, 
30, 404, 458. 

John, 29. 
Whitcher, Alary (Mrs.), 349. 

Nathaniel, 349. 

Whitconib, (Gen.), 422. 

White, Aklen P., 286, 288. 
Benjamin, 57, 60. 
Lloyd E. (Judge), 358. 
William Henry, 52. 
Whitehead, William E., 334. 
Whiting, Jonas, 434. 

Samuel, 434. 
Whitman, Bernard (Rev.), 198. 

Walt, 151. 
Whitmore, Elizabeth W., 46. 
Whitney, Abigail (Mrs.), 306. 

Albert, 359. 

Amos, 202. 

Amos, Jr., 202. 

Charles, 359. 

Daniel, 216. 

Hiram, 359. 

Joshua, 306. 

William, 306. 
Whittemore, James, 210. 
Whittier, John deenleaf, 167, 347, 355, 

Centennial of Birth, 286, 288. 
Work in Lowell, 47. 
Mary, 349. 

Nathaniel, 349. 
Wilder, Henry Hills, 81. 
Wildes, Sarah, 354. 
Willard, Samuel, 13. 

Willard, Simon (Major), 22, 322. 



Williams, Abigail, 344, 348, 349. 
Bird & Co., 326. 
John M., 148. 
Roger, 115. 
Wilson, Daniel, 237. 
Frank, 335. 
John, 205, 206, 237. 
Samuel, 433. 
Warren, 192. 
Wimble, Catharine, 63. 
Louis, 63. 
William (Capt.), 62. 

— — (Miss), 62. 

Winnemet (Indian), 296. 
Winthrop, Adam, 330. 
James, 226. 

John (Gov.), 17, 18, 20, 21, 
31, 96, 166. 
Witchcraft, A Trial in the Days of, 343-35 

356, 358. 
Wood, Mary E. (Mrs.), 457. 

Samuel Fox, 183, 189, 190, 191, 27 
House, 190. 
Solomon, 434. 

Woodard, , 130. 

Woodbury, C. H. I., 80. 
Woodman, George, 370, 372. 
Woods, Alice (Airs.), 307. 
Henry (Gen.); 304. 
Nathaniel, 304. 
Samuel, 307. 
Samuel, Jr., 307. 
Worcester, Eldad, 461. 
Moses, 461. 
Worthen, George E., 119. 
Wright, John, 371. 

John (Mrs.), 451. 
Thomas, 434. 
Wyman, William, 146. 151, 213. 

(Capt), 429- 

Wyman's Exchange, 240. 

Yellow House, 460. 
Young, John, 194. 

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Annual Report, 1 967.-1903 
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THe Centennial Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln , - : '365-387^ 

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• FromtJhe Towns •FromWhichLowell was Formed . S" V 1;> ; ^•' r* '. : .' 

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